Thursday, December 10, 2015

Global Food Law Research Fellow at Michigan State University

The Institute for Food Laws and Regulations in cooperation with the Global Food Law Masters Program at Michigan State University has hired Michaela Oldfield, an interdisciplinary social scientist and lawyer with research interests in public-private regulatory regimes, as its new global research fellow.
Oldfield earned a Ph.D. in Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies at MSU and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. While completing her dissertation, she taught food and agricultural law courses as an adjunct professor for the MSU College of Law.

Oldfield’s research interest is in how to develop regulatory systems that effectively address diverse stakeholders’ concerns within complex, dynamic, globalized systems. She draws on several disciplines, including sociology, public policy,
law and others, to understand the emergence and operation of public and private agri-food governance regimes.

Her dissertation research examined how stakeholders influenced the enactment and implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act and how the United States’ food safety regulatory systems is shaped by and will shape private systems of food safety standards and third party audits.
“Michaela had demonstrated excellence in her prior and ongoing research, and I’m very pleased that she accepted this position,” said Neal Fortin, director of the Global Food Law program and the Institute for Food Laws and Regulations. “Her recent work on the Food Safety and Modernization Act, as well as governance of food safety in the U.S., is not only timely but critically important in light of recent rules issued by the Food and Drug Administration.”

As the global research fellow, Oldfield will help coordinate a workshop in July 2016 on global food law issues and will contribute regular blog posts on a variety of current topics, in addition to her ongoing research.

“The Global Food Law Program continues to strengthen MSU’s position as one of the world’s foremost food universities,” said Melanie Jacobs, associate dean for graduate and international programs for the College of Law. “Michaela’s contribution to our summer workshop and our social media commentary will help elevate the program’s digital profile and professional outreach.”
Oldfield earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois and was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 2009. She is a member of the American Agricultural Law Association and the Agriculture Food and Human Values Society.

About the Michigan State University Global Food Law program: Attorneys and those with a J.D. from an American institution enroll in the Master of Laws (LL.M.) program. Those without a prior law degree, such as food industry professionals, enroll in the Master of Jurisprudence (M.J.) program. LL.M. and M.J. students study together, making for lively multidisciplinary discussion. Students complete the program in about three years if they take one course per semester and study year-round. The program is entirely online so students need not take a leave of absence from work or relocate to pursue their master’s degree. Learn more at

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