UC president names Glenda Humiston to head Agriculture and Natural Resources

Jul 10, 2015

University of California President Janet Napolitano will propose to the UC Board of Regents that they approve a veteran administrator with decades of experience in agriculture, natural resources, and sustainability as the next leader of the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, she announced today (July 10).

Following a national search, Napolitano has tapped Glenda Humiston, Ph.D., currently the California state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, as her nominee for the vice president for the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Humiston has 25 years of experience working on agriculture, natural resources, sustainability, and economic development in rural communities. President Obama appointed her to her current position in 2009.

“Glenda Humiston is a great fit for the UC system at a time when drought has heightened the importance of sustainable agricultural practices,” said Napolitano, who launched a Global Food Initiative last year. “She is a knowledgeable, thoughtful and action-oriented leader who will expand the impact of an agriculture and natural resources division whose reach already extends across the globe.”

The UC Board of Regents will vote on the terms of the appointment at its July 21-23 meeting.

“I am thrilled to join UC's work on the ground linking world-class research with local know-how to elevate rural economies and boost agricultural production,” Humiston said. “Together we can work to provide innovative science-based solutions to farmers and deliver healthier food systems and healthier environments for all Californians.”

Humiston, who earned her doctorate in Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley, served President Clinton as deputy undersecretary for natural resources and environment at USDA. She managed the Sustainable Development Institute at the 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development in South Africa, as well as the World Water Forum in Mexico City in 2006. Early in her career, she served in the Peace Corps in Tunisia.

The ANR head oversees 1,350 people working in 60 county offices, nine research and extension centers, and three administrative centers. The position became vacant upon the retirement of Barbara Allen-Diaz, the former vice president, on June 30.

By Pamela Kan-Rice
Author - Assistant Director, News and Information Outreach