Science Board

Molly Jahn is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, holding appointments in the Department of Agronomy, the Laboratory of Genetics, and the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment. From 2006-2011, she served as dean of the University of Wisconsin’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and Director of the Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station.  In 2009-10, she was called to Washington, DC to provide interim leadership as Deputy and Acting Under Secretary of Research, Education and Economics at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Her research programs at University of Wisconsin and Cornell University have produced vegetable varieties grown commercially and for subsistence on six continents. In 2011, she was selected to represent the U.S. on the CGIAR’s Commission for Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change.  In 2012, she was recognized with the highest award conferred by the U.S.D.A., the Secretary’s Honor Award and, in 2013, was named a Rothamsted Fellow in the U.K.  Based on her contributions to the recent U.S. President’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology report on agricultural preparedness, Jahn was selected to launch and lead a national student prize for agricultural innovation.  She has >100 peer-reviewed publications and 60 active commercial licenses from her plant breeding programs, edited a recent book on Biotechnology and Sustainable Agriculture, serves a Co-editor in Chief of the open access journal BMC Agriculture and Food Security, and on numerous boards and scientific advisory panels around the world including the U.S. National Research Council/National Academies of Science Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources.  In 2013, she received and co-directs a major grant on dairy sustainability in the U.S.  She chairs the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorates at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Lab, and consults widely for agribusiness, food and information technology companies, governmental agencies, First Nations, philanthropic organizations, venture capital, and multi-lateral organizations interested in agriculture, food security and risk in global food systems, life sciences and environment.