Rob Horsch, deputy director, leads the Agricultural Research and Development team which manages a portfolio of grants aimed at improving agricultural productivity, reducing farmer risk, and developing more nutritious versions of the staple crops grown and consumed by farm families, including varieties that thrive in different soil types and are resistant to disease, pests, and environmental stresses such as drought.
Prior to joining the foundation in 2006, Rob was the leader of International Development Partnerships at Monsanto Company and involved in a number of public private partnerships for agricultural development. Rob is a plant biologist and has served on the editorial boards of several leading journals in the plant sciences and as an advisor to the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. He was awarded the 1998 National Medal of Technology by President Clinton for contributions to the development of agricultural biotechnology.
Rob received his Ph.D. in Genetics at the University of California, Riverside, in 1979, and then conducted postdoctoral work in plant physiology at the University of Saskatchewan.