Jennifer van de Ligt, Ph.D.

Director, Food Protection and Defense Institute Associate Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine University of Minnesota

Jennifer van de Ligt, Ph.D., is the Director of the Integrated Food Systems Leadership program, Director of the Food Protection and Defense Institute, and Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota. She has an extensive background in animal feed and human food production, nutrition, safety, and regulations.

She uses this background to lead an online learning program dedicated to improving the leadership and systems thinking capabilities of early to mid-career professionals affiliated with any aspect of the food system. A key focus of her current food and feed security, safety, defense, and supply-chain resilience research and outreach portfolio is building collaborations with and transitioning solutions into the food industry. In addition, Dr. van de Ligt works to assure productive and effective public-private partnership and stakeholder engagement focusing on building multi-sectoral collaboration and perspectives to inform research design and implementation of extension and education activities.

Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, Dr. van de Ligt held numerous leadership positions at a global food company operating in 70 countries and provided nutrition and regulatory expertise for a variety of food and feed novel ingredient and claims innovations. Dr. van de Ligt has more than 130 global patents and patent applications covering specialty ingredients, processing technology, packaging innovations, and biology-based dynamic modeling formulation systems. Dr. van de Ligt completed her Ph.D. in Nutrition from the University of Kentucky.