Catherine Woteki, USDA Chief Scientist/Under Secretary for Research, Education, & Economics
Jill Auburn, Acting Director of the Office of the Chief Scientist
Daniel Cassidy, Senior Advisor
John L. King, Senior Advisor
Gita N. Ramaswamy, Senior Advisor
Jenna Jadin, AAAS Fellow/Advisor
Tina L. Kingsberry, Program Analyst
Colleen Rossier, Program Assistant
Catherine Woteki, USDA Chief Scientist/Under Secretary for REE Mission Area
Dr. Catherine Woteki is both the United States Department of Agriculture's Chief Scientist as well as its Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics (REE). Her responsibilities include oversight of the four agencies that comprise REE, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Economic Research Service (ERS), and National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS.) The National Agriculture Library and National Arboretum also fall under this mission area.
Before joining USDA, Dr. Woteki served as Global Director of Scientific Affairs for Mars, Incorporated, where she managed the company's scientific policy and research on matters of health, nutrition, and food safety.
From 2002 to 2005, she was Dean of Agriculture and Professor of Human Nutrition at Iowa State University, where she was also the head of the Agriculture Experiment Station. Dr. Woteki served as the first Under Secretary for Food Safety at USDA from 1997 to 2001, where she oversaw U.S. Government food safety policy development and USDA's continuity of operations planning. Dr. Woteki also served as the Deputy Under Secretary for REE at USDA in 1996.
Prior to going to USDA, Dr. Woteki served in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as Deputy Associate Director for Science from 1994 to 1996. During that time she co-authored the Clinton Administration's policy statement, "Science in the National Interest." Dr. Woteki has also held positions in the National Center for Health Statistics of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1983 to 1990), the Human Nutrition Information Service at USDA (1981 to 1983), and as Director of the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences (1990 to 1993). During her tenure as Director of the Food and Nutrition Board she had direct responsibility for twenty-seven studies and co-authored a nutrition book entitled Eat for Life which became a Book of the Month Club selection.
Dr. Woteki's research interests include nutrition, food safety policy, risk assessment, and health survey design and analysis. She is the author of over sixty refereed scientific articles and twelve books and technical reports.
In 1999, Dr. Woteki was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, where she has chaired the Food and Nutrition Board (2003 to 2005). She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Human Nutrition from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (1974). Dr. Woteki received her B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from Mary Washington College (1969).
Jill Auburn, Senior Advisor and currently Acting Director of the Office of the Chief Scientist (on detail from NIFA)
Jill Shore Auburn is currently Acting Director of the Office of the Chief Scientist in addition to being Senior Advisor. As a Senior Advisor, she works to advance sustainable agricultural systems in the Department's science programs. Prior to this role she spent ten years directing the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant program for the USDA agency that is now the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Before joining USDA in 1998, she was associate director of the University of California's statewide Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, where she developed the information program including one of the first university web sites on sustainable agriculture. Her academic background is in agricultural systems analysis and ecology, with a Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis and M.A. and B.A. from Miami University.
Daniel Cassidy, Senior Advisor (on detail from NIFA)
Daniel Cassidy is the Office of Chief Scientist's Senior Advisor for renewable energy and natural resources. As Senior Advisor, he facilitates the coordination of the Department's research, education, and extension programs that promote sustainable bioenergy, biofuels, and biobased product systems. Prior to this role he spent six years with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, most recently as the National Program Leader for Forest-based Bioenergy, providing leadership for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative's Sustainable Bioenergy Challenge, the Investing in America's Scientific Corps Education program, and the Biomass Research and Development Initiative. Dr. Cassidy has also served as the Chair for the Federal Woody Biomass Utilization Working Group and as the Deputy Team Leader for the US Forest Service's Woody Biomass Utilization Team.
Dr. Cassidy is a silviculturalist and dendrochronologist by training who received his PhD in Natural Resources from the University of Tennessee where he studied the historical development and distribution of shortleaf pine in the southeastern United States. Prior to coming to USDA, Dr. Cassidy was the director of the Southern Forest Research Partnership's Wood-to-Energy Initiative where he worked to coordinate regional research and education projects that promoted a biobased economy. He has held a post-doctorate faculty position at the University of Georgia and worked for International Paper as a Private Forest Landowner Advisor.
Dr. Cassidy received a BS in Forest Management from Mississippi State University with a focus on economics and a MS in Forest Policy from the University of Tennessee.
John L. King, Senior Advisor (on detail from ERS)
John L. King is the Senior Advisor for Agricultural Economics and Rural Communities in the Office of the Chief Scientist, on detail from the Resource Environment and Science Policy Branch of ERS. His research has focused on innovation and science policy, including the influence of intellectual property, industry structure, and knowledge flows on public and private decision making in agricultural R&D. He has served on the NSTC interagency working group on Science of Science Policy since 2006, and more recently has been active in USDA implementation of the STAR METRICS data platform. He helped develop the Agricultural Biotechnology Intellectual Property database, a tool to examine industry structure and intellectual property ownership, and has collaborated with ARS and other research agencies on analyzing technology transfer policies and developing assessments of the economic impact of research. Prior to joining ERS in 1999, Dr. King received Ph.D. and B.A. degrees in economics from Vanderbilt University.
Gita N. Ramaswamy, Senior Advisor
Gita N. Ramaswamy is the Office of the Chief Scientist's Senior Advisor for Scientific Integrity and Program Assessment. She comes to USDA with a wealth of experience ranging from research to program evaluation and assessment to mentoring. Prior to this role at USDA, she was at Oregon State University (OSU) where she spent time as both the Director for Academic Programs, Assessment, and Accreditation and the Senior Associate to the Dean of the Graduate School; and before that, she was at Purdue University as an Associate Dean for the Graduate School. At both institutions, she designed and implemented outcomes-based assessments of graduate student learning. At Purdue University, she also collaboratively developed and implemented courses for their Course-Share program and spearheaded an educational initiative on the responsible conduct of research for all graduate students, faculty, and postdoctoral fellows. In this effort, she worked with faculty and research administrators to identify programmatic needs and responded to them with workshops, on-line training courses, and resource materials.
Dr. Ramaswamy has also been actively involved with the Higher Learning Commission - North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, where she was an evaluator in accreditation team visits to several universities through two programs: PEAQ (Program to Evaluate and Advance Quality) and AQUIP (Academic Quality Improvement Program). She also led several sessions in the Assessment Academy related to Assessment of graduate degrees.
Before working at Purdue University, she was a Professor and an Interim Department Head for Apparel, Textiles and Interior Design at Kansas State University where her research focused on developing value-added products and fibers for biomedical purposes, and she mentored several successful graduate students. Dr. Ramaswamy received her Ph.D. from Mississippi State University in Toxicology, her M.A. in Textiles from Michigan State University, her M.Sc. in Agricultural Entomology from University of Agricultural Sciences, Hebbal, India, and her B.Sc. (Hons) in Zoology from Bangalore University in India.
Jenna Jadin, Advisor (AAAS Fellow)
Jenna Jadin is 2011 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow who is working with the USDA Office of the Chief Scientist on climate change and plant science issues. Dr. Jadin is an evolutionary biologist by training who received her PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park where she studied the mating behavior and evolutionary patterns of Hawaiian crickets. Prior to coming to USDA, Dr. Jadin was the Science Communications Manager at the US Global Change Research Program where she worked to help coordinate and guide federal officials on interagency climate change communication and education projects. She also previously held the position of Assistant Director of Government Affairs at The Wildlife Society, where she worked on climate change, invasive species, and international border issues.
Dr. Jadin is a native of Wisconsin, and holds a BA in Molecular Biology, with a focus on plant genetics, from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.