Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Biological Sciences, University of Maryland, Baltimore, 1990
  • B.A., Biology and French, Towson University, 1982
Additional Education & Training
  • Developing and Implementing an Outward Mindset (Arbinger Inst.), FDA, 2021.
  • Leadership Dialogues on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, FDA, 2021.
  • Classified National Security Information Training, FDA, 2020.
  • High Threat Security Overseas, Department of State, 2018.
  • Counterintelligence Awareness, FDA, 2017.
  • Leadership for a Democratic Society, Federal Executive Institute, 2012.
  • Higher Performing Organization Development Training, FDA, 2008.
  • Bioterrorism Legislation, Rules and Procedures, FDA, 2003.
  • Import Operations, FDA, 2003.
  • Regulatory Development, FDA, 2002.
  • Food and Drug Law, FDA, 2002.
  • Food Safety Risk Communication, JIFSAN, 2002.
  • Food Safety Risk Assessment, JIFSAN, 2002.
  • Seafood HACCP, AFDO Seafood HACCP Alliance, 2001.
  • Introduction to Risk Management, FDA, 2001.
Academic Appointments
  • Concurrent Faculty Appointments
  • Graduate Faculty, Marine and Estuarine Environmental Sciences, Univ. of MD, 1997-2003
  • Adjunct Graduate Faculty, Graduate School, Univ. of MD, 1997-2003
  • Biotech. Faculty, NSF Young Scholars Program, Notre Dame of Maryland University, 1994-1995
  • Adjunct Faculty, Biology, Community College of Baltimore County, 1993-1997
  • Research Assistant Professor, Dept. of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, 1992 1994
Professional Honors
  • As an entrepreneur, Dr. Jones has received multiple Distinguished Achievement Awards and, as an academic, has been recognized with a Distinguished Alumni Award from his undergraduate institution, a Distinguished Service Award during his first faculty appointment and a Visionary Scientist attribution during his second faculty appointment, as well as an Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award and the Outstanding Young Scientist Nomination from the Maryland Academy of Sciences.
  • From among over 40 professional honors, more recently, in 2017 Dr. Jones received the FDA Commissioner’s Award of Excellence, in 2018 he was awarded the FDA Commissioner’s Special Citation, and in 2019 in addition to a US EPA Bronze Medal “for outstanding contributions to environmental protection programs of national scope,” the William R. Jones Cultural Legacy Award was established in his honor at FDA. In 2020, he received the Commissioner’s Special Citation “for outstanding and meritorious service” to Codex, a flag flown over the US Capitol in his honor as an “unsung hero” in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Outstanding Customer Service Award. In 2021, he received two different Commissioner’s Special Citations as well as a Commissioner’s Group Recognition Award, a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award, and the FDA Commissioner’s Distinguished Career Service Award.

Dr. Jones joined Exponent in 2022 following retirement from 20 years of federal government service, most recently as the Senior Science Advisor and Director of the Senior Science Advisor Staff at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). 

Prior to that, he was the Principal Deputy Director for Food Safety Science and Policy after having served as Director of CFSAN's Office of Food Safety. He started his career at FDA in 2001 as CFSAN's aquaculture expert, moving into management in his second year. His career at FDA followed previous careers in academia as a faculty member then administrator of both research and education programs and in the private sector as founder and owner of four successful businesses: an international biotechnology consulting firm; a healthcare facility; a natural food market; and an environmental biotechnology and biomolecular engineering research and manufacturing company, serving as President and as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board prior to joining the FDA.

He has recently served as a member of the Technical Advisory Group on Food Safety for the World Health Organization (WHO); on the Water Security Bureau for the International Water Resources Association in conjunction with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); on the roster of advisors to the One Health High-Level Expert Panel for FAO, the World Organization for Animal Health, the United Nations Environment Programme and the WHO; on the roster of Food Standards Specialists for FAO; and as an advisor and judge for NASA's Deep Space Food Challenge to develop innovative and sustainable food systems for longer crewed missions to Mars and beyond, which includes dual-use applications for food production around the world.

Dr. Jones is a member of the Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition of FAO, a member of WHO's Food Safety Community of Practice, a delegate to the Global Action Network on Sustainable Food from the Oceans and Inland Waters established by Norway and facilitated by FAO/WHO, and also serves on grant review panels for USAID, NOAA Sea Grant and others, and is a member of a wide variety of scientific professional organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society for Microbiology, the American Chemical Society, the Materials Research Society, the International Water Resources Association, and the International Association for Food Protection.

With training in classical genetics, field and systematic botany and vertebrate biology, as well as inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry and biochemistry before transitioning to cellular and molecular biology as well as analytical chemistry, materials science and environmental science, Dr. Jones has a broad range of experience, interests and expertise. He received a B.A. in Biology, magna cum laude, from Towson University along with French (2ND Degree) and minors in Chemistry and English. He received a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Maryland Graduate School at UMBC, with Dr. Richard E. Wolf, Jr. in 1990.

He conducted post-doctoral research and served as an instructor in microbial pathogenesis with Dr. J. Glenn Morris, Jr. at the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine, before being appointed by President James A. Zimble in 1991 to an assistant-level faculty position at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Department of Medicine at the National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. There he directed the hepatitis E virus research and vaccine development program at the Naval Medical Research Institute, producing the initial baculovirus-based diagnostic tools and adenovirus-vectored vaccine candidates. 

He then accepted an associate-level faculty appointment at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, Center of Marine Biotechnology (now IMET), under Drs. Rita Colwell and Madilyn Fletcher, respectively, in 1993. He subsequently moved into an administrative role as Senior Scientist, overseeing both the Applied Microbial Ecology and the Applied Environmental Biotechnology research programs while also serving as Head of Educational Programs. He managed over $4 million of competitively awarded funding and mentored several dozen post-secondary students, graduate students and post-graduate fellows. 

During his academic career, Dr. Jones presented his research internationally, lecturing at the graduate and bachelor level in Anatomy and Physiology, Bioethics, Biology, Biotechnology, Cell Biology, Environmental Science, Microbial Ecology and Molecular Pathogenesis. He is an author of over 60 scientific publications including peer-reviewed abstracts, journal articles, book chapters, review articles, handbooks and reports.

He has served as a member of the editorial board for Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, has reviewed manuscripts for several other scientific journals, has served on review panels of national and international research programs for the National Science Foundation, National Academy of Sciences, National Institute of Standards and Technology, USAID and others. He has delivered invited presentations and keynote addresses on every continent except Antarctica, has represented the FDA on three subcommittees of the US President's National Science and Technology Council as well as two White House policy task forces and was the U.S. Delegate to the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission Committee on Fish and Fishery Products for over 15 years.