Rothamsted Research has undergone a restructuring process to further strengthen its scientific leadership, operational systems and external relations function that will support the delivery of excellent science and practical solutions to the farmers of the future. The leadership team is comprised of:
- Associate Director for Crop Science - Professor Johnathan Napier
- Associate Director for Sustainable Production Systems Science - Professor John Crawford
- Director of External Relations – Ms Laura Smillie
- Director of Operations – Mrs Donna Lipsky
Professor Achim Dobermann commented: "Rothamsted Research is embarking on an exciting, ambitious new future. I am delighted to have the opportunity of working with such an excellent leadership team towards shaping the Institute's vision and strategy."
The two Associate Directors for Science will work closely with the director and chief executive Professor Achim Dobermann, and all the research leaders and scientists at Rothamsted Research, co-leading the development of the future science strategy of the Institute. Professor Johnathan Napier has been working at Rothamsted Research, in Harpenden since 2003. Since 2012, he has led the Designing Seeds Institute Strategic Programme (ISP). Professor John Crawford, joined Rothamsted in 2013 and he leads the Delivering Sustainable Systems ISP. The new appointments will be effective as of 1st July and the two Associate Directors will maintain the leadership of the ISPs until March 2017.
Professor Johnathan Napier commented on his new appointment: “Rothamsted Research has always played a key role in agriculture and crop sciences, and I am delighted to take on this new role to help shape our future. There has never been a more exciting time for biosciences research, and I want to harness this ethos to deliver excellent research which contributes to the bioeconomy.”
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with the world-class staff at Rothamsted to help shape the future of our research. I believe we have a unique ability to embrace and simplify the complexities of the profound challenges facing agriculture and our food system over the next 20 years and we need to take our place as the one of the global leaders in this respect” Professor John Crawford commented.
Mrs Donna M. Lipsky, a highly experienced and skilled Operations and Finance professional, took up her role as Director of Operations on 16 April 2015. She has oversight for the farms, facilities, greenhouses and controlled environments, finance, human resources, grants and purchasing. In addition, she represents the Institute on several boards and external committees, as well as being the President of the Rothamsted Research Sports and Social Club.
Commenting on her new role, Mrs Lipsky said: “I am delighted to be able to contribute positively to the future of Rothamsted and to have the rare opportunity to work in a place that is ensuring a healthy and sustainable food supply, using science to safeguard our environment.”
Ms Laura Smillie will join the Institute as Director of External Relations on 29 June 2015. Laura will have oversight of the Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation, Communications & Public Engagement, Grants and International as well as Contracts teams at Rothamsted Research. She has earned a Bachelors degree in Management and a Masters in European Communications. She has previously held positions with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in Parma, the European Food Information Council in Brussels, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, and Deloitte & Touche.
Commenting upon her appointment to Rothamsted Research, the new Director of External Relations, Laura Smillie said: "Having supported scientific excellence at the European level, it gives me great pleasure to join this prestigious research institute and support its global aspirations."