College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
AGNR Research

Sarah Taylor-Rogers Selected as Interim Director of Hughes Center

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The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is pleased to appoint Sarah Taylor-Rogers as interim director of the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology. Sarah assumed leadership duties on April 3 while the college launches a national search for a new director.

Sarah steps into this role with a wealth of knowledge and experience as former assistant director and interim director of the Hughes Center. She is a proven leader, having individually procured over $500,000 in grants and contributions to fund research of key importance to the farming and forestry communities as well as to fund the first in-house communication and outreach position. She strengthened the relationships between Maryland's representatives in Congress as well as with key committees in the legislature to assist with additional funding for the Hughes Center. She designed and initiated the first watershed implementation planning workshops around the state with colleagues from the Departments of Natural Resources, Environment, Agriculture and Planning in an effort to reduce total maximum daily loads to the bay. 

Sarah and staff will work closely with the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Board of Directors, and the Hughes Center's constituents to assure that the Center retains its "cutting edge" applied research approach to aid decision-makers in making sound policies based upon peer reviewed science.

Sarah returns to the Hughes Center at a pivotal time with several high profile initiatives in progress. The Hughes Center is supporting agriculture’s role in environmental practices and soil health through funding key research initiatives, is working to close the disconnect with consumers by building a stronger regional food system, and is working with key state agencies to help update the state’s forest action plan.

“As president of the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, I welcome Sarah Taylor-Rogers back as interim executive director,” said Edwin Fry, Hughes Center board president. “Sarah has a distinguished history with the Hughes Center and can guide our outstanding staff to continue delivering science based, applied research that fosters collaborative solutions.”

The college and Hughes Center staff also want to extend its deep appreciation to Suzanne Dorsey for her service and leadership as the previous director, and wish her the best in her new position with the Maryland Department of the Environment.

"Suzanne was a key player in developing research proposals that seek to answer some of the big questions the Hughes Center’s stakeholders in agriculture, forestry and the environment need to address to be sustainable. And with that came a strong sense of engagement with new and existing AGNR faculty, who make up the bulk of the principal investigators on these ongoing research projects,” said Nancy Nunn, the Hughes Center's assistant director. “Suzanne not only helped the Hughes Center increase the diversity of its stakeholders — with a focus on listening and responding to them — but also introduced new AGNR faculty in center-funded projects to these stakeholders, which will lead to strengthened relationships between the stakeholders and AGNR."

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