Vivian Chen


Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Public Health Science

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service

Vivian T. Chen is the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Public Health Science, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service, with over 30 years of experience in public health, grants management, resource and community development, evaluation and research.  Her career stretches from national policy formulation at the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) to public health, including food safety management in Milwaukee.  As a Commissioned Corps officer, she led various offices in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  During her time at the Health Resources and Services Administration, Dr. Chen worked to establish the Office of Minority and Women’s Health and a demonstration program integrating substance abuse and mental health into primary care settings.  Surgeon General David Satcher appointed her as the Chief Professional Officer (CPO) for the Health Service Officers (HSO) category of the PHS Commissioned Corps.  She was the first Asian American and first female to serve as the HSO CPO.  Dr. Chen later served as the Health Operations Director/Deputy Health Commissioner at the City of Milwaukee Health Department where she managed all aspects of the city’s health department.  As a senior policy consultant, Dr. Chen has authored a number of publications, written successful grant applications, and served as a grant reviewer for numerous government agencies.  Dr. Chen has served as past president for both Pan Asian Women and the Women’s American Organization for Research and Training, and has worked closely with minority and women’s groups, primary care networks, public health policy organizations, and community health centers for over 25 years.   


Dr. Chen is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and received her MSW from the University of Michigan, a Masters Certificate in Gerontology from the UM Institute on Gerontology, and a Doctor of Science degree in Health Policy and Administration, Epidemiology, and Mental Health, from the Johns Hopkins University-School of Hygiene and Public Health.