Kathy Munkvold, Ph.D.

Scientific Program Director
Cultivating Thriving Production Systems

Dr. Kathy Munkvold joined the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) in December 2023 as a scientific program director, leveraging over 20 years of experience in crop and life science research to develop programs in the Cultivating Thriving Production Systems Priority Area.

Prior to her role at FFAR, Munkvold served as the leader of Open Innovation at Corteva Agriscience, building research collaborations through a challenge-based model and delivering innovative solutions across various agricultural research areas. Her background includes technical roles in genomics at Beckman Coulter Life Sciences and at Keygene Inc. applying precision breeding methods in row crops. Before transitioning to industry, Munkvold directed the policy and public affairs activities at the American Society of Plant Biologists and drove the development of the community-based, inaugural Plant Science Decadal Vision.

Munkvold’s longtime passion for using multidisciplinary collaborations to address challenges in agriculture dates to her graduate student days. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Lycoming College, a master’s degree in botany from the University of Georgia, and a doctorate in plant pathology from Cornell University. During her postdoctoral fellowship at the Boyce Thompson Institute, she dedicated her efforts to building a fundamental understanding of the molecular basis of plant-microbe interactions.