Manjit Misra, Ph.D.
U.S. Department of Agriculture – National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Dr. Manjit Misra is the director of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), USDA’s extramural funding agency in the Research, Education and Economics Mission Area.
Dr. Misra is a world-renowned scientist who has had a transformational impact on food security through the application of engineering principles to seeds, the most vital and fundamental element of food security. Prior to joining NIFA, he was the director of the Seed Science Center at Iowa State University, a position he held from 1991 to 2023. He also was the Endowed Chair of Seed Science, Technology and Systems.
Dr. Misra was the 2018 recipient of the Sukup Global Food Security Award for his distinguished contributions to global food security through research, outreach and teaching in post-harvest seed science, technology and policy.
His interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to leadership has been effective at state, national and international levels. He has been a member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers for 37 years. He is a past chair of the National Genetic Resources Advisory Council with the USDA. Dr. Misra is author or coauthor of 137 publications and co-inventor on 10 patents.
Throughout his career, Dr. Misra has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Service Award for Leadership, Vision and Exemplary Service to the U.S. Seed Industry from the American Seed Trade Association. He received the Outstanding Achievement in International Agriculture Award from Iowa State University. He also received the Global Academic Leadership Award from the Indian Council of Food and Agriculture.
After earning a bachelor of science degree in agricultural engineering from Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology in India, Dr. Misra earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in agricultural engineering from the University of Missouri. He joined the faculty of Iowa State University in 1979 as an assistant professor in seed science and technology. In 2005, he was named director of Iowa State’s Institute for Food Safety and Security and was the founding director of the Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products.
Dr. Misra was sworn in to a six-year appointment as Director of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture on May 8, 2023.