The World Food Prize Foundation

2019 Borlaug Dialogue Speakers

Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young

Administrator, USDA Agricultural Research Service

Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young is the Administrator of the ARS, USDA’s chief scientific in-house research agency, and currently also the Acting Chief Scientist of USDA. 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 customers, stakeholders, and partners. She has also worked to elevate the visibility of collaboration and coordination of agricultural research globally. While in USDA, Dr. Jacobs-Young has also served as Director of the USDA Office of the Chief Scientist, Acting Director for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Dr. Jacobs-Young is a native of Augusta, Georgia in the United States. She holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Wood and Paper Science and a B.S. degree 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 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.

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