Indian-American scientist appointed acting head of top US agriculture research organization
Dr. Parag Chitnis was named Associate Director for Programs in advance this year and leads the execution of NIFA’s approximately $1.7 billion research projects. National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) drives all federally funded agricultural research in the United States of America.
“Dr. Chitnis brings more than 31 years of scientific research and experience to the Director’s office,” US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said while announcing the name of Dr. Chitnis as the Acting Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Dr. Parag Chitnis replaces Dr. Scott Angle who acknowledged a position as Vice President of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
“He (Chitnis) 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 CAF (Collaboratively Achieving Functional Excellence) initiative which aims to help NIFA maximize business operations to better serve its customers,” Perdue said.
Dr. Chitnis persuaded his Bachelor in Science in botany/ plant breeding from the Konkan Agricultural University in Maharashtra and completed his Master in Science in genetics/ biochemistry from New Delhi-based Indian Agricultural Research Institute. He finished his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in biology from the University of California in Los Angeles.