Search begins for next Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute executive director

April 27, 2015

The University of Nebraska announced today that it has begun an international search for the next executive director of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute. The next director will succeed founding executive director Roberto Lenton, who in February announced his intention to step down by early 2016 after serving in the role since 2012.

D“Roberto has done a wonderful job during the initial developmental years of the Daugherty Institute and we are forever indebted to him,” said Ronnie Green, University of Nebraska vice president for agriculture and natural resources. “The institute is now firmly established thanks to his exemplary leadership and the work of our faculty, staff and partners in Nebraska and around the world. The next executive director will have a solid foundation on which to build, and will have an attractive opportunity to engage educational, research and funding partners from around the world to further establish the Daugherty Water for Food Institute as the premier institution addressing water, people and the environment in food production systems.”

University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds said, “Developing sustainable solutions for feeding the growing global population is one of the most urgent challenges facing the world today. The University of Nebraska needs to own this conversation. My interactions with faculty, staff and students across the campuses and at research and extension facilities across the state tell me we are well-positioned to do so. I thank Roberto for his work in getting the institute off to a very successful start, and look forward to the next phase of growth in which we will continue to impact the lives of people in Nebraska and around the world.”

Green said he has appointed an advisory committee to assist in the search. The committee will be co-chaired by Bob Meaney, retired senior vice president of Valmont Industries, and Ron Yoder, associate vice chancellor for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources, and includes representatives from all four NU campuses as well as external stakeholders. Committee members are:

  • Charlie Bicak, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, UNK
  • Ken Cassman, professor and Daugherty Chair and Fellow, Agronomy & Horticulture, UNL
  • Tom Farrell, Senior Advisor for International Affairs, UNL
  • Lilyan Fulginiti, Professor and Daugherty Fellow, Agricultural Economics, UNL
  • Bruce Grogan, Associate Director, Center for Global Health & Development, College of Public Health, UNMC
  • Mike Hayes, Professor and Daugherty Fellow, Director of National Drought Mitigation Center, School of Natural Resources, UNL
  • Peter Longo, Professor, Political Science, UNK
  • Lee Orton, Executive Director, Nebraska State Irrigation Association, and, Nebraska Well Drillers Association
  • Christine Reed, Professor and Daugherty Fellow, School of Public Administration, UNO
  • Chittaranjan Ray, Professor and Director, Nebraska Water Center, UNL
  • Scott Snyder, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activity, UNO
  • Anthony Schutz, Associate Professor, College of Law, UNL
  • Harkamal Walia, Associate Professor and Daugherty Fellow, Agronomy & Horticulture, UNL

The committee will be assisted by Kim Morrisson of Diversified Search, a professional consulting firm engaged by the university. Green encouraged members of the university community and other stakeholders to recruit potential candidates for the position or send nominations to Morrisson at

Media Contact:
Melissa Lee
Director of Communications,
University of Nebraska