The World Food Prize Foundation

2018 Borlaug Dialogue Speakers

Chavonda Jacobs-Young

Administrator, USDA, Agriculture Research Service

Chavonda Jacobs-Young is the Administrator of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) chief scientific in-house research agency. Prior to joining ARS, Dr. Jacobs-Young held several scientific leadership roles to help transform USDA’s scientific coordination and create a lasting impact on the conduct, quality, integrity, and access to science for decision makers. Dr. Jacobs-Young has also worked to elevate the visibility of the importance of agricultural research globally. She has served as Director of the USDA Office of the Chief Scientist, Acting Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), and Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

A native of Georgia, Dr. Jacobs-Young holds an M.S. and a Ph.D. in wood and paper science and a B.S. in pulp and paper science and technology from North Carolina State University. She is also a graduate of American University's Executive Leadership in Public Policy Implementation Program. Dr. Jacobs-Young is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a 2016 recipient of the Presidential Rank Award. 

Dr. Jacobs-Young is also currently the USDA Acting Chief Scientist and Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics.


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