COLLEGE STATION, Aug. 14, 2008 - President George W. Bush has announced his intent to appoint Texas A&M University President Elsa Murano to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development.
BIFAD is a seven-member board that has as its primary role advising the director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on agricultural development priorities and issues. The board includes a combination of top representatives from academia and various sectors of the agricultural industry.
Dr. Murano said she is honored to be selected by President Bush to serve on the board.
"This is a tremendous opportunity to work with USAID to help ensure that people in developing countries worldwide have access to an adequate and stable supply of food and water - the basic necessities of life," said Dr. Murano. "Texas A&M has a long legacy of service that is recognized worldwide, and as a land-grant institution, we have much knowledge, research and expertise that can be shared to assist other countries with agricultural development initiatives."
Texas A&M serves as home to the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, named for the renowned Dr. Norman Borlaug who is credited for saving more than 1 billion lives worldwide through his dwarf wheat varieties. The Borlaug Institute currently has agriculture-related projects in Iraq, Rwanda, Guatemala and several other countries around the globe.
Dr. Murano, who will be filling a term expiring July 28, 2012, served as Under Secretary for Food Safety for the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 2001 until 2005 in an earlier appointment by President Bush. She had previously served as a member of the Texas A&M animal science faculty and director of the Center for Food Safety. She returned to Texas A&M in 2005 as dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and vice chancellor for agriculture for life sciences for The Texas A&M University System, the positions she held when selected to serve as president of the university.
Dr. Murano became the 23rd president of Texas A&M on Jan. 3, 2008, with the distinction of being the first woman and first Hispanic-American to lead the oldest public institution of higher learning in Texas - now one of the largest teaching and research universities in the nation.