WASHINGTON -- Robert Brackett has been named director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, replacing Joseph Levitt, who retires Dec. 31. Brackett joined the FDA in 2000 and has been credited with strengthening the center's scientific expertise in food safety, and playing a major role in its counter-terrorism program. Since June 2001, Brackett has been in charge of food safety and security at CFSAN, where he has been responsible for food-safety policy issues and for coordinating new programs. Levitt, who joined the agency in 1978, is credited during his tenure as CFSAN director with achieving productivity increases, implementing more innovative management practices and attracting new scientific talent to the agency. Brackett will assume his new duties Jan. 1, 2004.