Indian-American scientist Dr Parag Chitnis appointed acting head of top US agriculture research institute

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U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that notable Indian-American scientist Dr Parag Chitnis would serve as the Acting Director of the prestigious National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) that’s the main driver of all federally funded agri-research in the US.

It is important to note that Chitnis was named Associate Director for Programmes earlier this year and leads the implementation of NIFA’s approximately $1.7 billion research projects.

He has also served as deputy director for NIFA’s Institute of Food Production and Sustainability. Before joining NIFA, he held the position of a research administrator at the National Science Foundation (NSF).

“Dr Chitnis brings more than 31 years of scientific research and experience to the Director’s office. He has been instrumental in providing steady leadership and support to NIFA during its transition to Kansas City last fall, in addition to playing a lead role on NIFA’s Project CAFÉ (Collaboratively Achieving Functional Excellence) initiative which aims to help NIFA maximize business operations to better serve its customers,” said Secretary Perdue.

Chitnis will replace Dr Scott Angle who accepted a position as Vice President of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

With respect to Dr Parag’s academic credentials, he did his BSc in botany/plant breeding from the Konkan Agricultural University in India and an MSc in genetics/biochemistry from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute. Also, he did his PhD in biology from the University of California.