Dr. Roger Beachy is the Founding Executive Director of the World Food Center, University of California, Davis. In 2009 he was appointed by President Obama as the first director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), where he served until 2011. During his tenure at NIFA, he presided over the establishment of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the federal government’s only agriculture-focused investigator-initiated grants program.

Dr. Beachy also served as Chief Scientist at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) from January through October 2010 and was a 2001 recipient of the prestigious Wolf Prize in Agriculture.

Dr. Beachy was founding president of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and served in this position from 1999-2002. From 1991 to 1998, Dr. Beachy headed the Division of Plant Biology at The Scripps Research Institute. He was also Professor and Scripps Family Chair in Cell Biology and Co-Director of the International Laboratory for Tropical Agricultural Biotechnology (ILTAB) at Scripps.

Dr. Beachy was a Professor in the Biology Department at Washington University in St. Louis, and Director of the Center for Plant Science and Biotechnology from 1978-1991. In 1986 Dr. Beachy and colleagues developed the first genetically modified food crop, a tomato modified for resistance to a virus disease.

Dr. Beachy is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the Academy of Science of St. Louis. He also is a Foreign Associate in the National Academy of Sciences India and The Third World Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Beachy received a BA in biology from Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana and a PhD  in Plant Pathology from Michigan State University.