Jennifer van de Ligt, PhD

Associate Director, Food Protection and Defense Institute

Jennifer van de Ligt

Contact Info

PhD, Animal Nutrition, University of Kentucky

MS, Animal Nutrition, University of Illinois

BS, Animal Science (nutrition minor), North Carolina State University


Jennifer van de Ligt, PhD, is the Associate Director of the Food Protection and Defense Institute (FPDI), a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence at the University of Minnesota. She has an extensive background in animal feed and human food production, nutrition, safety, and regulations. Currently, Dr. van de Ligt helps lead a talented team of experts providing evidence-based food defense innovation, education, and outreach solutions. A key focus of her leadership is building collaborations with and transitioning the food defense solutions to the food industry.

Prior to joining FPDI, Dr. van de Ligt held numerous leadership positions at Cargill, Inc. where she led interdisciplinary technical and regulatory teams tasked with assuring ingredients met appropriate nutrition, safety, and regulatory standards. In addition, she led the nutrition and regulatory strategy for a variety of novel ingredients including the regulatory strategy that allowed Truvia® tabletop sweetener to successfully launch in key international markets and expand market penetration in the US. Dr. van de Ligt completed her Ph.D. in Nutrition from the University of Kentucky.