Plenary Speakers

Parag Chitnis, Deputy Director, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

As Deputy Director at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of USDA, Dr. Parag Chitnis leads NIFA’s Institute of Food Production and Sustainability (IFPS), which supports research and extension activities in plant, animal, and agricultural systems. IFPS manages a budget of about $660 M for competitive and capacity grants. Prior to joining NIFA, he was a research administrator at the National Science Foundation (NSF) – Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, where he served as division director, deputy division director, and program director. As the division director, he was responsible for an annual budget of approximately $125 million in research grants. In addition to leading the division, he managed many inter-directorate programs at NSF, developed collaborations with agencies in other countries, and represented NSF in several interagency activities, such as National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity and the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council. He received numerous awards from NSF for his accomplishments in fostering interdisciplinary research and in broadening participation of underrepresented groups in research. Prior to joining NSF, Dr. Chitnis was a professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology at Iowa State University, and was an assistant professor in the Division of Biology at Kansas State University. As a researcher at these universities, he received more than $4 million in research grants from federal and private sources including funding from NIFA, NSF, and NIH. Dr. Chitnis authored over 100 peer-reviewed or invited publications in the areas of plant biochemistry, photosynthesis, and proteomics. He has mentored over 50 undergraduate students, MS and PhD students, post-doctoral fellows, and AAAS fellows. Chitnis has a B.S. in botany/plant breeding from the Konkan Agricultural University in India, an M.S. in genetics/biochemistry from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, and Ph.D. in biology from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Jim Jones picJim Jones, Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP), U.S Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)

Mr. Jones was nominated by President Obama to be the Assistant Administrator for USEPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) in January 2012. Mr. Jones was confirmed by the U.S. Senate August 1, 2013. He leads the office which implements the nation’s pesticide, toxic chemical, and pollution prevention laws, with an annual budget of over $230 million and more than 1,200 employees. From December 2011 through July 2013, Mr. Jones served as the Acting Assistant Administrator of OCSPP. From April through November 2011, Mr. Jones served as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for USEPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. From January 2007 until April 2011, Jim served as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for OCSPP, including six months as Acting Assistant Administrator. Mr. Jones's career with USEPA spans more than 26 years. He has an M.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a B.A. from the University of Maryland, both in Economics.

Marc Lane picMarc L. Lame, Clinical Professor at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs and Director of their Masters of Science Environmental Science Program

Dr. Lame teaches “Environmental Management,” “Management Communication,” “Natural Resource Management & Policy,” and “Insects and the Environment”. He holds degrees in agriculture, entomology, and public administration. He was an Extension IPM specialist at the University of Arizona for 10 years and an administrator for Arizona Department of Environmental Quality before he moved to Indiana University. Marc is an Agency appointed advisor to the USEPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs, consultant to the National School IPM Steering Committee, member of the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors and the national training coordinator for the Integrated Pest Management education program offered by the National Environmental Health Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He assisted in the development of the joint EPA/CDC statement on bed bugs as a national health concern. By personally inspecting, assessing and making recommendations, Marc has implemented school IPM programs to reduce the risks to the school community from pests and pesticides in 23 states over the past 21 years. The “Monroe IPM Model” which he developed with 20 other nationally recognized IPM implementers has proven to be sustainable and highly transferable. It is now considered a standard for the implementation of IPM programs in schools. Dr. Lame was recognized by the USEPA and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) sponsors of the National IPM Symposium with the first ever IPM Achievement Award in 2006. According to Sherry Glick of the US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pesticide Programs - “Dr. Lame’s dedication to school IPM issues runs deep; his work with the Monroe IPM Model and his book A Worm in the Teacher’s Apple: Protecting America’s School Children from Pests and Pesticides has positively impacted millions of school children nationwide.  Dr. Marc Lame is a national leader in the promotion and implementation of school IPM.”

Mark Robson picMark Gregory Robson, Dean of Agricultural and Urban Programs and Professor of Plant Biology and Pathology, Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological Sciences; Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at the School of Public Health

Dr. Robson’s research focus is global agricultural health and the risks from exposure to pesticides and agricultural chemicals.  Dr. Robson is currently the director the NIH-funded Fogarty International Training and Research in Environmental and Occupational Health (ITREOH) Center in Bangkok Thailand and the principal investigator on the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) project in the Philippines.  He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Agromedicine and a contributing editor for international health for Public Health Reports.  Dr. Robson graduated with a BS (1977) from Rutgers University - Cook College in Agricultural Science and an M.S. (1979) and Ph.D. (1988) from Rutgers University - Graduate School New Brunswick in Plant Science.  He has an M.P.H. (1995) from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - School of Public Health in Environmental and Occupational Health.  Dr. Robson received an honorary doctoral degree in Public Health (Dr.P.H.) from Chulalongkorn University in 2010.  He was elected as a Fellow in the Academy of Toxicological Sciences in 2002, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2012 and the Collegium Ramazzini in 2013.

David Shaw picDavid R. Shaw, Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Mississippi State University

Dr. Shaw is the Past-President of the Weed Science Society of America.  He currently is chair of the WSSA’s S-71 Herbicide Resistance Education Committee.  He also chaired the task force developing the USDA-APHIS report on Herbicide Resistance Best Management Practices and Recommendations and the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology task force on Impacts of Herbicide Resistant Weeds on Tillage Systems.  Dr. Shaw began his career at Mississippi State in 1985 as an Assistant Professor of Weed Science.  His research focused particularly on optimizing pest management practices to maintain farm productivity while improving surface water protection and management, and development of Best Management Practices for protection of surface waters from pesticides.  He has also provided leadership in herbicide resistance management issues, and is participating in one of the largest long-term field projects on glyphosate resistance management ever established. He received his Ph.D. in weed science from Oklahoma State University in 1985, his M.S. from OSU in 1983, and his B.S. from Cameron University in 1981.