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March 15, 2012–President Obama will appoint Sonny Ramaswamy as director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), according to a statement released by the White House. Ramaswamy is currently dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University.
NIFA, which is part of USDA's research, education and economics mission area, links the department with the land-grant university community, including historically black colleges and universities, tribal colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, and other public and private organizations, to advance research, extension, and higher education in the food and agricultural sciences and related environmental, social, and human sciences.
Ramaswamy has served as Oregon State’s Agriculture Sciences dean since 2009 and also serves as director of the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station. He previously was associate dean of Purdue's College of Agriculture and directed the university's agricultural research programs from 2006 to 2009. Prior to joining the Purdue faculty in 2006, Ramaswamy was head of the entomology department at Kansas State University from 1997 to 2006, where he held the title of distinguished professor. He also served on the faculty of Mississippi State University, and was a research associate at Michigan State University. He also is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Entomological Society of America.
Ramaswamy earned bachelor and master of science degrees in entomology from the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bangalore, India, and a Ph.D in entomology from Rutgers University.
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