Ralph A. Otto, PhD
Ralph A. Otto
National Institute for Food and Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Dr. Otto is the Deputy Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, with responsibilities for food and community resources.
From 2007 until September of 2009, Dr. Otto served as the Associate Administrator of USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES).
Prior to 2007, Dr. Otto served as the Deputy Administrator for the Plant and Animal Systems (PAS) unit of CSREES.
In this capacity, he
was responsible for the management of substantial portions of Hatch research and Smith-Lever extension funds, certain competitive grant programs, and numerous special research projects.
Dr. Otto has been with USDA since 1980 in a variety of positions that span rural development, natural resources, the environment, and international development.
From 1980 through 1989, Dr. Otto worked with USDA's Office of International Cooperation and Development, holding positions in both training and technical assistance.
His original interest in international development stems from working as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malaysia in the early 1970s.
is a native of New Jersey, and a current resident of northern Virginia.
He is proud to have three degrees from land grant universities: a B.S. degree from Rutgers, an M.S. from Virginia Tech, and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University, the latter two degrees with emphasis on the quantitative aspects of wildlife biology.