I’m pleased to announce that two new department heads will join the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to lead the Department of Agricultural Economics and Department of Horticultural Sciences.
Rudy Nayga, Ph.D., Agricultural Economics
Rudy Nayga, Ph.D, will begin his leadership duties as department head of agricultural economics on August 1. Dr. Nayga currently is Distinguished Professor and Tyson Endowed Chair in Food Policy Economics in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness at University of Arkansas. As you may recall, Rudy was previously a faculty member in our own college, in the department of agricultural economics. He has also served on the faculty at Rutgers University and Massey University, New Zealand.
Dr. Nayga has been a Fulbright Senior Scholar at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, adjunct professor at Korea University and Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy Research, as well as National Bureau of Economic Research economist and senior research fellow of the Waseda Institute for Advanced Study in Tokyo.
He is currently an executive board member of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and member of the International Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast.
He has published more than 250 refereed articles in several international journals and has served as associate editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and was co-editor of Choices, a publication of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
Dr. Nayga earned a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness from the University of the Philippines at Los Banos, a master’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Delaware, and his doctoral degree in agricultural economics from Texas A&M University.
Amit Dhingra, Ph.D., Horticultural Sciences
Following the retirement of Dr. Dan Lineberger earlier this year, an extensive search for a new Department Head in Horticultural Sciences has been ongoing for this important leadership position. Amit Dhingra, Ph.D., will become the new horticulture department head effective September 1.
Dr. Dhingra joins Texas A&M from Washington State University where he has served as interim chair and professor of Genomics and Biotechnology in the Department of Horticulture. He has also served as chair of the Entrepreneurial Faculty Ambassadors Program.
At Washington State, his research program focused on biological processes in plants relevant to the current and future needs of agriculture. Dr. Dhingra developed extensive relationships with pear growers and others across the state in helping them with value-added opportunities. On the academic side, he has trained 17 graduate students and several post-doctoral scientists, and more than 100 undergraduate students.
He has published more than 77 high impact peer-reviewed journal articles. He serves on the editorial board of four internationally reputed plant science journals and has been awarded three US and international patents on regulating ripening in fruits to reduce post-harvest wastage.
Dr. Dhingra has also been successful in transferring intellectual property derived in the laboratory to the agriculture industry, founding two biotechnology spin-off firms.
Dr. Dhingra earned a bachelor’s in science degree in botany from Hindu College, New Delhi, India, and his master’s degree in botany with specialization in cytogenetics and plant breeding from Raja Balwant Singh College, Agra, India. He earned his doctoral degree at the University of Delhi.
Please join me in welcoming Drs. Nayga and Dhingra to these key leadership positions. Also, please join me in thanking interim heads Mark Waller, Ph.D., agricultural economics, and Patricia Klein, Ph.D., horticultural sciences, for their key leadership roles during the transition.
Patrick J. Stover, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor, Texas A&M AgriLife
Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Director, Texas A&M AgriLife Research