COLLEGE STATION – Dr. H. Russell Cross has been named department head of animal science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station.
The announcement was made by Dr. Mark A. Hussey, vice chancellor and dean for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Cross currently is a professor and the interim department head.
“I’m pleased to have someone of Dr. Cross’s caliber as the department head for animal science,” Hussey said. “Dr. Cross is an accomplished and respected leader. His industry expertise and leadership experience will be a strong and steady influence guiding the department as we strive to provide the very best opportunities for our students, faculty and staff.”
Cross brings an extensive portfolio of management experience in government, academia and the private sector to the position.
“Serving as interim head for animal science has been a rewarding experience,” Cross said. “There’s a remarkable history and tradition, and I look forward to working with our stakeholders, faculty, staff and students in helping it to continue to excel as the premier animal science department both nationally and internationally.”
In previous roles in academia, Cross served as executive vice president for operations and chief of staff to former Texas A&M President Elsa Murano. Prior to that appointment, he was deputy vice chancellor and associate dean for agriculture and life sciences. He also served as head of the department of animal science and the meat and muscle biology section, the E.M. “Manny” Rosenthal Chair in Meat Science, and was the founding director of the Texas A&M Institute of Food Science and Engineering.
His service in government included the role of administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. At the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Neb., the largest animal research center in world, Cross served as USDA’s research leader within the meat research group.
He also pioneered the International Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point Alliance, serving as its founder and executive director . The alliance represents 24 food associations, 40 universities and the governments of 13 countries.
Within the private sector, Cross was the CEO and chairman of Future Beef Operations, L.L.C. and has served as director of food safety for IDEXX Laboratories. Within National Beef Packing Co., Cross was executive vice president of food safety/government and industry affairs. He also was vice president of DuPont Food Industry Solutions.
Cross is published extensively, with more than 235 published works on meat quality and safety.