The post, which has remained vacant for over a year, will see Hagen work with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
"There is no more fundamental function of government than protecting consumers from harm, which is why food safety is one of USDA's top priorities," said Vilsack. "We can and must do a better job of ensuring the safety of meat and poultry products regulated by USDA, and Dr. Hagen brings the background, skills, and vision to lead USDA's efforts to make sure that Americans have access to a safe and healthy food supply."
Hagen is currently the USDA's chief medical officer, serving as an advisor on a wide range of human health issues. Prior to her current post, she was a senior executive at the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), where she was involved in developing and implementing the agency's scientific and public health agendas.
Before joining the federal government in 2006, Hagen taught and practiced medicine in both the private and academic sectors, most recently in Washington, DC.