WASHINGTON — Frank M. Yiannas, vice-president of food safety and health at Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart Inc., will be taking a new role as deputy commissioner for food policy and response at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

In his new position, Mr. Yiannas will lead the Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine. His responsibilities will include implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act, collaborating with the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, the Center for Veterinary Medicine and the food components of the Office of Regulatory Affairs.

He will take over for Stephen Ostroff, M.D., who has worked for the F.D.A. since 2013, most recently as the deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine.

In an Oct. 18 letter to agency staff, Scott Gottlieb, M.D., commissioner of the F.D.A., said Dr. Ostroff plans to retire on Jan. 5 but will stay on as a senior adviser and help Mr. Yiannas with the transition.

“Mr. Yiannas is a globally renowned food safety and supply chain expert and thought leader,” Dr. Gottlieb wrote. “He’s been recognized for his role in elevating food safety standards and building effective food safety management systems based on modern science and risk-based prevention principles.”

Before joining Walmart, Mr. Yiannas worked for The Walt Disney World Co. as director of satiety and health. He is also an adjunct professor at Michigan State University in the Food Safety Program. He is the author of “Food Safety=Behavior: 30 Proven Techniques to Enhance Employee Compliance.”