Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). NIFA provides funding to catalyze transformative discoveries, education, and engagement to solve societal challenges.
Prior to starting at NIFA on May 7, 2012, Dr. Ramaswamy held a number of academic positions, including: dean of Oregon State’s College of Agricultural Sciences; director of Purdue’s Agricultural Research Programs; university distinguished professor and head of Kansas State’s Entomology Department; and professor of entomology at Mississippi State.
Sonny has been a successful scientist, educator, and administrator. He has received research grants from many federal agencies, including NIFA, NSF, NIH, EPA, and USAID, as well as from state agencies, commodity groups, and industry for his research in the area of integrative reproductive biology of insects. He has published over 150 journal articles, book chapters, and a book. He is an award-winning teacher, and has mentored a number of high school, undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students. He has received a number of awards and honors, including being named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Fellow of the Entomological Society of America.
Dr. Ramaswamy has had excellent success in capital campaigns and fund-raising to create endowments for faculty professorships, student scholarships and fellowships, including creation of the Leadership Academy at Oregon State University, support of research, extension, and outreach, infrastructure improvements, construction of new facilities for research, education, and outreach, including the Kansas State University Insect Zoo.
Dr. Ramaswamy received his Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture and Master of Science degree in entomology from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India. His doctorate is in entomology from Rutgers University. He is also a graduate of Harvard University’s Management Development Program.