SoAR Foundation Announces Dr. Barbara Schaal as New Board Chair


Dan Klotz, dklotz@burness.com/347-307-2866

SoAR Foundation Announces Dr. Barbara Schaal as New Board Chair

WASHINGTON, DC (January 4, 2022) — The Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation Board is pleased today to announce the appointment of Dr. Barbara Schaal as the new Chair of the Board of Directors. Dr. Schaal is a tenured professor of biology at Washington University who previously served as first vice president of the US National Academy of Sciences for eight years.

“Dr. Schaal’s leadership comes at a pivotal point for both SoAR and our expanded plate of work,” said Thomas Grumbly, outgoing board chairman and former president.  “Dr. Schaal’s expertise and exceptional leadership will help SoAR create new collaborations and guide us in our mission to build a sustainable and food-secure world.”

Dr. Schaal has served on the SoAR Foundation Board of Directors since 2019. She is a nationally recognized plant evolutionary biologist and previously served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She was also appointed a US science envoy by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and from 2009 to 2017 was a member of President Obama’s Council for Science Technology.

“Innovative agricultural research can turn the tide in our ongoing fight against climate change and hunger,” said Barbara Schaal. “I look forward to continuing our work to increase investment in scientific research that will protect farmers’ livelihoods and ensure the future of our food systems.”

Over the past six years, SoAR and its partners’ advocacy have added a half billion dollars to the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the USDA’s flagship competitive grants program.  SoAR is also working to help agriculture adapt to climate change and to mitigate climate’s impacts on global food production.

SoAR and its partners have advocated for the significant investments of $2 billion for climate-resilient agricultural research in the proposed Build Back Better bill, currently being considered in Congress, and globally has launched an international advocacy campaign that will cultivate resources for agricultural researchers and institutions in low- and middle-income countries as they develop adaptation strategies for the climate crisis in regions across the Global South.   

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