February 7, 2023
USDA appoints new ARS administrator
The United States Department of Agriculture has appointed Simon Liu, PhD, the Administrator of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS).
In his role, Liu will lead the agency in its efforts to leverage the latest advances in science and technology and develop innovative solutions to agricultural challenges facing the United States and the world.
While Liu was officially named as ARS Administrator on January 4, he has been acting in this role since June 2022. Prior to holding this position, Liu was the associate administrator for the agency's Research Management and Operations for more than seven years. He first joined ARS in 2010 as director of the National Agricultural Library (NAL), which houses the world's largest collections devoted to agriculture and related sciences.
"The department, nation and the world look to ARS to provide cutting-edge discoveries and solutions that are rooted in quality, objective science," said USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics and chief scientist Chavonda Jacobs-Young. "Research is the key to strengthening and adapting agriculture to meet the needs of today and the challenges we face tomorrow. Dr. Liu's decades of public service and previous leadership roles within ARS make him the perfect fit to lead the agency into the future. His experience, expertise and dedication to excellence in both programme and administration will continue to serve ARS well as a premier scientific organisation."
As ARS Administrator, Liu and his senior leadership team administer more than 660 research projects spread across four National Program Areas. These research projects are conducted by 2,000 scientists and post-doctoral researchers assigned to 90-plus research locations nationwide, including a few laboratories overseas.
"It's an honor to be a part of such an innovative research agency that provides scientific excellence through agricultural discoveries," said Liu. "These discoveries support the nourishment of all people while sustaining our nation's agroecosystem and natural resources. As administrator, I will continue supporting and advancing the great work that our more than 8,000 employees do every day."
Liu now leads an agency with a storied, 70-year history of scientific and technological excellence that includes the mass production of the antibiotic penicillin, xanthan gum, key nutrient findings, animal disease vaccines, edible films, guayule-based tire rubber and bio-synthetic oils.