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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Biographical Sketch of the Administrator's Office
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Chavonda Jacobs-Young, ARS Administrator

Chavonda Jacobs-Young

ARS Administrator    

   

Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young recently served as ARS Associate Administrator for National Programs, where she led the Office of National Programs which manages the research objectives of the Agency.  She also led the Office of International Research Programs which is responsible for ARS’ liaison with its international partners. 

Prior to moving into her role at ARS, Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young served as the Director of the Office of the Chief Scientist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where she was responsible for facilitating the coordination of scientific leadership across the Department to ensure that research supported by, and scientific advice provided to, the Department and external stakeholders were held to the highest standards of intellectual rigor and scientific integrity.  She also served as the Acting Director for USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. 

Dr. Jacobs-Young was a senior policy analyst for agriculture in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where she supported the President’s science adviser and others within the Executive Office of the President on a variety of agricultural scientific activities and worked across the Federal Government to improve interagency cooperation and collaboration on high-priority scientific issues.

Dr. Jacobs-Young is a native of Georgia.  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 also is a graduate of American University’s Executive Leadership in Public Policy Implementation Program. 


Steven Shafer, Associate Administrator, National Programs 

Steven R. Shafer

Associate Administrator, National Programs   

 

Dr. Shafer has devoted his entire professional career to public service in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Effective May 2014, he serves as Associate Administrator for National Programs in the Agricultural Research Service.  In this position, he is the senior leader and manager for planning, prioritizing, and budgeting ARS’ comprehensive agricultural research programs.  Prior to this appointment, he was Director of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (2012-2014), USDA’s largest research installation located just outside Washington, DC.  He served as Deputy Administrator for Natural Resources and Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the ARS Office of National Programs (2008-2012), with concurrent appointment as Senior Advisor for Climate Science in the Office of the Chief Scientist, USDA (2009-2010). He was the ARS Midwest Area Director (2006-2008), following appointment as the Midwest Area’s Associate Director (2005-2006), with senior management responsibilities for all ARS research in 8 states. He was the ARS National Program Leader for Global Change research (2000-2005); Deputy Director for Environment and Plant Health in the USDA Office of Risk Assessment and Cost-Benefit Analysis (1998-2000); and a plant pest risk analyst in the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (1997-1998).  During 1983-1997, he was a Research Plant Pathologist in ARS’ Air Quality-Plant Growth and Development Research Unit at Raleigh, NC, with concurrent faculty appointment in the Plant Pathology and Soil Science departments at North Carolina State University. His research focused on interactions of air quality with plants, pathogenic and beneficial microorganisms, and soils. 

 

Dr. Shafer received the Senior Executive Service Meritorious Presidential Rank Award in 2011 and the USDA Secretary’s Honor Award in 2012.  He received B.S. Agr. and M.S. degrees from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. from North Carolina State University, all in plant pathology.  He is a native of Marion, Ohio.


 

Laurence D. Chandler
Acting Associate Administrator, Research Management and Operations 

 

Dr. Chandler received his Ph.D. in entomology from Texas A&M University.

He joined USDA-Agricultural Research Service in 1982 and has served in several positions including Research Entomologist in Weslaco, TX (1982-1989), Research Entomologist in Tifton, GA (1989-1994), Research Leader of the Northern Grain Insects Research Laboratory in Brookings, SD (1994-1999), Director of the Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center in Fargo, ND (1999-2004), Associate Director of the Northern Plains Area in Fort Collins, CO (2004-2008), and Director of the Midwest Area in Peoria, IL (2008-2012).  He transferred back to Fort Collins, CO in 2012 and currently serves as the Director for the Northern Plains Area. During his active research career he conducted research on IPM of horticultural and field crop insect pests. He has previously served as the ARS Technical Coordinator for the Corn Rootworm Areawide Pest Management Program, the ARS Coordinator for the National Sclerotinia Initiative, and chair/co-chair of the ARS Information Technology Advisory Group.   He received an ARS Technology Transfer Award in 1999 and the USDA Secretary’s Award for Superior Service in 2002 and 2012.


Last Modified: 7/1/2014
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