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APLU Announces New Vice President for Food, Agriculture, & Natural Resources

Doug Steele, who has spent his career advocating for agricultural research, education, and Extension, has been named Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Vice President for Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources. Steele will succeed Ian Maw who is retiring from the position effective December 31, 2018.

Doug Steele Headshot

“Doug has spent more than 35 years championing land-grant institutions. We are delighted he will be join the APLU team to support public and land-grant institutions across the country,” said Peter McPherson, APLU president. “He has vast expertise and knowledge of public research universities and their agricultural research, education, and Extension programs. In various university roles he led initiatives on workforce development, youth programs, international Extension, and more. He is the perfect choice for this critical position.”

Steele has expressed his excitement for assuming this position, as well as his passion for the role of research, Extension and academic programs in positively impacting the United States international venues. “It is an honor and privilege to carry on the great mission of land-grant and public colleges of agriculture. I am eager to continue the work being done by APLU, its various boards and committees, and the many stakeholder groups with a focus on food, agriculture, and natural resources,” Steele said.

In April, Steele became director for International Extension Outreach and Education with the Norman E. Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture at Texas A&M University. For six years prior to that appointment, he served as director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in College Station.

Prior to serving as AgriLife Extension director, Steele held various Cooperative Extension and faculty positions at Montana State University, Colorado State University, and Purdue University. Steele earned his bachelor of science degree in animal science and agribusiness from Panhandle State University in Goodwell, Oklahoma, his master of agriculture in agronomy and horticulture from West Texas A&M University in Canyon and his doctorate in educational human resource development from Texas A&M.

“We are delighted Doug has accepted the offer to serve as the next Vice President for Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources at APLU and that he will be providing leadership within and beyond APLU to establish priorities and initiatives,” said Alan Grant, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and chair of the search committee for this position. “The search committee was most impressed with his vision for APLU, and his vast experiences that will be important in working across the academic, research, Extension, and international missions.”

Steele will be taking over for Maw, who has served as APLU Vice President for 15 years, following a 34-year career at Rutgers University. During Maw’s tenure, he led APLU and its members through many advocacy efforts promoting the research, education, and Extension programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). He was instrumental in the land-grant system’s efforts to create USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). He also has been the key figure in overseeing the creation of an Institute for Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education.

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