Biden names Indian American soil scientist Rattan Lal to IFAD Board

President Biden Jan. 14 announced his intent to appoint several individuals to serve in key roles in his administration, including Indian American Rattan Lal. 

Lal, according to a White House press release, will be named to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development. 

The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development advises USAID on agriculture and higher education issues pertinent to food insecurity in developing countries. The president appoints members, who primarily represent the academic community. 

BIFAD was established by Title XII of the Foreign Assistance Act. The Board and Title XII recognize the critical role of U.S. land-grant institutions in agricultural development, domestically and abroad, and support their representation in USAID development programs, said the release. 

Dr. Lal is a Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science and Director of the CFAES Rattan Lal Center for Carbon Management and Sequestration at The Ohio State University, noted the release. Lal is also an Adjunct Professor of the University of Iceland and of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, as well as a Visiting Professor at Pontifical Catholic University. He is widely recognized as a pioneer in soil-centric agricultural management to improve food security globally and develop climate-resilient agriculture through soil carbon management and sequestration, sustainable management of soils, and soil health. 

Lal has served as president of the World Association of the Soil and Water Conservation (1987-1990), the International Soil Tillage Research Organization (1988-1991), the Soil Science Society of America (2005-2007), and the International Union of Soil Sciences (2017-2018). He is Chair in Soil Science and Goodwill Ambassador for Sustainable Development Issues of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture. He has received several awards for his work, including the 2020 World Food Prize. 

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