Member Spotlight - Maureen Ternus


Maureen Ternus, MS, RDN



What are your credentials and/or title?

MS, RDN and Executive Director of the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation (INC NREF).


Tell us about your job.

I coordinate all of the activities for INC NREF. This includes acting as spokesperson; working with researchers who are conducting studies on nuts; doing PR, including writing press releases, developing consumer materials, and overseeing our social media and website content. I also exhibit at and attend health professional meetings every year and I’ll be submitting comments for the 2020 Dietary Guidelines.


What do you find most interesting about your job?

I love the variety and I’m very lucky to work with a great group of people—many of whom I’ve worked with for over 20 years. This job has enabled me to travel all over the world and to continue to grow and learn new things in the area of nutrition.


How did you get into this field?

I started out doing clinical work at Fresno Community Hospital in Fresno, CA and did some TV and radio interviews. After getting my MS degree, I worked for Ketchum PR and Advertising in New York and then in San Francisco. In 1994 I went out on my own as a nutrition communications consultant and started working with INC NREF in 1997.


Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Philadelphia, PA and we moved out to southern California when I was four years old. I attended grade school in Fullerton, and then we moved up to Marin County in northern California before I started high school.


Where did you go to college and/or complete and internship?

I went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California for my undergraduate degree in dietetics and food administration; interned at St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee, WI; and received a MS degree in nutrition communications at Boston University.


Besides your profession, what are your hobbies?

My family and I love to travel around the U.S. visiting national and state parks. Closer to home, I enjoy swimming, paddle boarding, hiking and spending time with friends and family…and finally working on my daughter’s baby book…14 years late??!


What are your favorite foods?

I love seafood and Mediterranean, Indian and Mexican cuisines.


What is on your bucket list?

I’d love to visit Egypt, Scandinavia and to see the Northern Lights.


How long have you been a member of NEP DPG? And why did you join?

I’ve been a member since I agreed to co-edit the newsletter back in 1993! Prior to that I had developed several educational handouts for the DPG.


Any other interesting things you would like to share with NEP members.

Over the years I’ve written for a number of publications including Environmental Nutrition, JAND and Nutrition Today, and co-wrote “The Everything Vitamins Book."