President Joe Biden has announced his intent to appoint new members of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD), including Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander as Chair. BIFAD is a seven-member, presidentially appointed advisory committee to USAID to ensure it brings the assets of U.S. universities to bear on development challenges in agriculture and food security and supports their representation in USAID programming.
Dr. Alexander’s appointment as BIFAD Chair marks the first time the board is chaired by a leader of an 1890 public land grant university, acknowledging the valuable contributions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and presenting an opportunity to further strengthen USAID’s partnerships with HBCUs and other U.S Minority Serving Institutions.
“Thank you to President Biden for this appointment. I’m honored to serve in this capacity,” Chancellor Alexander said. “As Chancellor of Arkansas’ only land-grant HBCU institution, our mission is steeped in innovation and discovery. This BIFAD appointment will be an excellent opportunity to expand awareness about the leading industry in the state of Arkansas—agriculture. In addition, it will further expand awareness about the research and extension mission of land-grant universities, and specifically about UAPB’s initiatives, such as the agriculture and aquaculture research in which our renowned faculty are engaged, as well as our outreach services to small farmers in the state.”