FFAR Names Dr. Saharah Moon Chapotin as Executive Director

Washington, DC

WASHINGTON (April 12, 2022) – The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR), a nonprofit that builds public-private partnerships to fund audacious food and agriculture research, today announced that its Board of Directors selected Dr. Saharah Moon Chapotin as FFAR’s executive director. Chapotin currently serves as the executive director of the United States Botanic Garden (USBG), a position she has held since 2018. The USBG, the oldest continuously operating public garden in North America, educates visitors about plants’ importance as well as their broad uses and significance.

Chapotin is a plant scientist, who is passionate about sharing the importance of plants and agriculture. She has more than 15 years of experience in federal leadership, using science to inform policy and advancing agriculture research.

Mark E. Keenum
We are thrilled to have Dr. Chapotin join FFAR at the helm. Not only does Dr. Chapotin’s research background include expertise on numerous topics that overlap with FFAR’s Challenge Areas, but her leadership experience and collaborative style will be invaluable as FFAR continues to grow as an organization. Mark E. Keenum, Ph.D.
Chair, FFAR Board of Directors
Mississippi State University

Previously, Chapotin worked at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for over 11 years. She held multiple positions at USAID,serving as the deputy assistant administrator in USAID’s Bureau for Food Security before joining the USBG. Earlier in her career, Chapotin completed fellowships at Iowa State University and the National Academies working on issues of biosafety policy, scientific communication and national security. She further conducted research on forest ecology and canopy biology throughout the United States, Madagascar and Costa Rica.

“I am honored to join the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research and excited to build on FFAR’s success in forging science collaborations that deliver solutions for farmers,” said Dr. Chapotin. “I look forward to leveraging science and innovation to make agriculture more resilient, nutritious and productive, and to achieve a more sustainable planet.”

Chapotin received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Stanford University and a doctorate in plant physiology from Harvard University.

Chapotin plans to begin her post as FFAR’s executive director in August 2022. In the meantime, FFAR’s Board of Directors appointed Chief Operating Officer Julie Reynes as the interim executive director.


Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) builds public-private partnerships to fund bold research addressing big food and agriculture challenges. FFAR was established in the 2014 Farm Bill to increase public agriculture research investments, fill knowledge gaps and complement the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s research agenda. FFAR’s model matches federal funding from Congress with private funding, delivering a powerful return on taxpayer investment. Through collaboration and partnerships, FFAR advances actionable science benefiting farmers, consumers and the environment.


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