Colien Hefferan, advisor to director of USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, takes helm.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced the appointment of Colien Hefferan as the director of the U.S. National Arboretum.
"Dr. Hefferan has outstanding leadership skills and extensive outreach experience that will prove invaluable to the Arboretum," said Edward B. Knipling, administrator of USDA's Agricultural Research Service, which operates the arboretum. "She will ensure the continued success of the arboretum's world-renowned plant collections and research activities."
Hefferan currently serves as advisor to the director of USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Prior to that, she was administrator of USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service. She also served as associate administrator and acting administrator of CSREES before being appointed administrator in 2000.
"The arboretum is a treasure for the American people," said Dr. Cathie Woteki, USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics. "Dr. Hefferan will prove instrumental in preserving this treasure while leading it into the future and continuing its mission of research, education and conservation."
As director, Hefferan will lead a special review and assessment of the future direction of the arboretum. Focusing on a strategy for sustainability, the assessment will look into alternative funding models and expansion of private support of the arboretum. Ramon Jordan, who has been serving as acting director of the arboretum, will continue to serve as a key advisor to Hefferan on scientific and management issues.
Hefferan began working for USDA in 1979 as an economist with the ARS Family Economics Research Group. She transferred to the Cooperative State Research Service in 1988, where she served as deputy administrator for Natural Resources, Food and Social Sciences. She joined CSREES when it was first established in 1994 as the deputy administrator for Competitive Research, Grants and Awards Management.
She holds a Ph.D. and Master of Science from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Arizona.