October 15, 2020
CHICAGO – Esther F. Myers, PhD, RDN, FAND, a registered dietitian nutritionist and an internationally known author, lecturer, educator and researcher in dietetics and evidence analysis, has been named the 2020 recipient of the Marjorie Hulsizer Copher Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.
The Copher Award is named for an early 20th-century pioneer in dietetics who was recognized by the British and French governments for her service in World War I. Following the war, Marjorie Hulsizer Copher served as chief dietitian at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Mo. After her death, a gift from Copher's husband to the Academy (then known as the American Dietetic Association) established the award in her honor.
From 2000 to 2012, Myers was the Academy's chief science officer, where she oversaw the establishment of a unique system to complete systematic, evidence-based reviews of nutrition topics. She helped develop the Academy's widely used Evidence Analysis Library and Evidence-Based Nutrition Practice Guidelines, which Past Academy President Jessie Pavlinac, MS, RD, CSR, LD, calls "visionary enterprises (that) are, in my view, the most significant changes in dietetics and nutrition in my 40 years of practice."
Previously, Myers had a 25-year career in the U.S. Air Force, serving as director of nutritional medicine and as chief military consultant to the Air Force's Surgeon General. She provided key support to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the formation of the USDA's Nutritional Evidence Library, which supported the development of the federal government's 2010 and 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Since 2007, Myers, a resident of Trenton, Ill., has been the chief executive officer of EF Myers Consulting Inc., which focuses on collaborative initiatives in international practice-based nutrition research and the dissemination of national and international evidence analysis principles, quality improvement and change management concepts.
Myers served on the National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine Committee on Military Nutrition and is a past president of the International Affiliate of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She received the Academy Foundation's 2013 Edna and Robert Langholz International Nutrition Award; the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award from North Dakota State University's College of Human Ecology; and the Academy's Distinguished Service Award in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
Myers has represented the Academy at key national and international scientific and policy conferences in Canada, France, Italy, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Turkey. And she has served on numerous task forces and committees to identify, cultivate, establish and maintain strategic partnerships with health, scientific and research organizations, including the National Heart Blood and Lung Institute, the International Life Sciences Institute and the USDA.
In the words of a colleague, nominating Myers for the Copher Award: "Esther is a futurist, who boldly goes where no one has gone before! She is curious, bold, courageous, optimistic and an indomitable force when working to achieve objectives. It is Esther's humility, however, that is critical to her success. Esther listens and builds upon existing ideas and concepts. She has the capacity to integrate great ideas from external and internal experts and sources to create a shared vision."
Myers is a graduate of North Dakota State University. She earned a master's degree from the Ohio State University and a doctorate in human ecology and institutional management from Kansas State University.
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Representing more than 100,000 credentialed nutrition and dietetics practitioners, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.