Dr. Archer received a B.A. degree in Zoology in 1968 and a M.S. degree in Bacteriology in 1970 from the University of Maine, and a Ph.D. degree in Microbiology in 1973 from the University of Maryland.
Dr. Archer was appointed Professor and Chair, Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, on January 1, 1994. The Department has thirty-seven faculty and has program foci in nutritional sciences, food science, and dietetics. He stepped down as Chair on January 1, 2001 to return to the faculty. He was selected to be an Associate Dean for Research, UF/IFAS in February, 2006.
Prior to his arrival at UF, Dr. Archer served as Deputy Director, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where he was charged with oversight of the research, regulatory and policy activities of all foods and cosmetic programs including food additives, food labeling, special nutritionals, seafood, and cosmetics and colors.
During his career with FDA, Dr. Archer was a Commissioned Officer in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) and was appointed Assistant Surgeon General in July 1990. Furthermore, he received numerous awards including three Meritorious Service Medals, and the Distinguished Service Medal. He retired from the USPHS on January 1, 1994. Non-government awards include the J. C. Frazier Memorial Award from the University of Wisconsin in 1992, and the Ivan Parkin Lectureship in 2005 for the International Association for Food Protection.
From 1984 until his retirement in 1994, Dr. Archer served as Chairman of the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Committee on Food Hygiene, and since 1990, has been a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Food Safety since 1990. Other international activities include: U.S. Representative to the International Standards Organization, and U. S. Technical Negotiator with the European Community. He is the past U. S. Associate Editor for Food Control, and member of the Advisory Board of the Academic Press Nutrition and Food Science Publications. He is a professional member of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), and was elected Fellow of the IFT in 2006. He is currently a member of the IFT Global Policy and Regulations, and is the subject expert for that Committee on food Hygiene. Dr. Archer also Chairs the Florida Food Safety and Food Security Advisory Council to the Commissioner of Agriculture of Florida.
In addition to his administrative duties, he has authored or co-authored more than eighty peer-reviewed scientific publications, and given hundreds of presentations to scientific organizations, trade organizations, and consumer groups. Aside from administrative duties, Dr. Archer teaches graduate courses.