Monday, September 9, 2013

Michael Roberts To Direct Food Law & Policy Program at UCLA Law

Alumnus Michael T. Roberts recently joined the UCLA Law faculty as the founding Executive Director of the new Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy.  This exciting new program is "dedicated to studying and advancing law and policy solutions to improve the modern food system, including addressing questions of food safety, distribution and access."

As UCLA Law Dean Rachel F. Moran said in the UCLA Press Release, Michael's "background in food law and policy blends academic activity, private practice, and government service, [making] him an ideal choice to serve as founding executive director of the Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy.”

For last three years, Michael has taught Food Law & Policy at UCLA as an adjunct professor and served as Special Counsel at Roll Law Group P.C., the private law group serving Roll Global, the $3 billion international food and farm business. He also served as the executive director of the Center for Food Law and Policy, taught a Food Law & Policy class at UC Davis School of Law, and was involved in a wide range of international food law educational efforts.

Michael's connections with the University of Arkansas are significant.  He received his LL.M. in Agricultural Law in 2001. And, he returned a couple years later to serve as a research professor of law. In that capacity, he directed the National Agricultural Law Center when it was part of the Law School. Under his leadership, the Center's website was developed, ties with Drake University's Agricultural Law Center and Neil Hamilton were strengthened, and Doug O'Brien joined on as Senior Staff Attorney. Doug now serves as Acting Under Secretary for Rural Development at USDA.

In collaboration with the law faculty and the LL.M. Program, Michael founded the law school's Journal of Food Law & Policy, and he developed the Program's first Food Law & Policy course. LL.M. Program Graduate Assistant, Amy Lowenthal, who now serves as Assistant Counsel to the Inspector General at USDA, assisted in preparing the first set of course materials.

While at the Law School, Michael also served as an adjunct professor in the Food Science Department of the Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food, and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas.

After leaving Arkansas, Michael was of counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of Venable LLP and a member of the firm’s food and agricultural law practice group. In addition, he was a visiting scholar with and consultant to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome.

Michael serves as a member of the Steering Committee for the California Food Policy Council and of the Leadership Board for the Los Angeles Food Policy Council. He chairs the Los Angeles Garden School Foundation.  He also serves on the advisory board for the World Food Law Institute and is an expert panelist for Oxford Economics, Ltd., a publisher of Macro Trends Monitor for Food and Beverages. He is the deputy director of the FDA Research Center at East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai, China where he lectures each year at the university’s law school.

Michael earned his J.D. and B.S. degrees from the University of Utah and his LL.M. from the University of Arkansas.

Congratulations, Michael!  We look forward to supporting your work and collaborating with the new Resnick Program for Food Law & Policy.

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