Prior to her current position as Director of Operations for the Foundation, Anna Gore managed projects on pesticide MRL regulatory capacity-building and a large portfolio of global MRL activities in Latin America, Asia, and Africa for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS) for 7 years. Her activities at FAS focused on alignment and harmonization of regional MRL regulatory systems, underscored the importance of a science and risk-based approach to MRL regulation, and supported countries in the development of stronger plant health regulatory systems. Prior to USDA/FAS, Anna was the Associate Director for Foundation Relations at The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) where she oversaw proposal development and grant management. She has written extensively on the potential benefits of leveraging agricultural technologies to improve food security throughout the developing world, including products such as Golden Rice, drought resistant seed varieties, and GMO crops.
Anna earned her master’s degree in international development from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs and a bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College. She is fluent in Spanish, having lived in Peru where she worked on women’s health and nutrition issues. Anna resides in the San Francisco Bay area and when she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, and painting.
Adriana has a PhD from the University of Florida in Plant Pathology and previously served for seven years as the Director of Technical Analysis and Agricultural Diagnostics for the Colombian Department of Agriculture. She has deep technical knowledge of plant pathology and crop protection tools. Located in Bogota, Colombia, she supports project selection and other technical aspects of Minor Use Foundation operations in Latin America.
Joe worked at Oregon State University for 34 years as the Director of the Specialty Crops Research and Registration Program where he concentrated on plant production and pest management. He and his team conducted pesticide residue and efficacy field trials for specialty food crops as well as efficacy and crop safety field trials for nursery, ornamental, and landscape plants. He has served as the IR-4 State Liaison Representative for Oregon and is the author of several Pest Management Strategic Plans for various crops grown in the Pacific Northwest. He also worked on studies to determine the rate of pesticide residue decline for fungicides and insecticides in raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry crops, enabling growers to make informed decisions about when to harvest their fruit to meet the MRLs in foreign markets. Joe has a master’s degree in horticulture and bachelor’s degree in soil science. He resides in Oregon and, when not working, enjoys camping and hiking with friends and family, gardening, birding, and volunteering in his community.
Concurrent to his position as the Business Manager for the Foundation, Nick works full-time as an Account Manager for an automotive metal stamping company, Big Rapids Products. During his 4 years at Big Rapids Products Nick has lead the successful launch of 60+ new projects across five different customer bases. Prior to Big Rapids Products, Nick worked in Grant Management for the IR-4 Project chapter of Rutgers University tracking contractor expenses, building project budgets, and conducting reporting to government agencies. Most notably, it was here where Nick assisted in establishing the Foundation and has conducted the financial accounting, reporting and business responsibilities ever since.
Nick earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture Business Management at Michigan State University. He currently resides in Morley, Michigan and sits as a Trustee on the Village Council Board. Outside of work he enjoys fishing and kayaking on the river, cultivating plants and flowers, and spending quality time with friends and family.
Colleen has supported the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology through membership development and administrative activities for ten years.
Other professional experiences include communication support for several nonprofits, such as a wildlife center and an animal shelter, and editor of a weekly community newspaper. Colleen has a B.A. in journalism and mass communication and has more than two decades of experience as a freelance writer and editor.
Grace Lennon started her agricultural career as an analytical chemist providing analytical support for EPA registration of agricultural products. With over 20 years of experience, she previously worked as a study director for BASF, and then for over a decade with IR-4 overseeing field and lab research with an emphasis on regulatory compliance and quality assurance. Grace Lennon is an expert in GLP compliance in both the field and laboratory. She oversees studies in the U.S. and Asia for the Minor Use Foundation and provides technical guidance to teams around the world.
Grace resides in the Bucks County area outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In her spare time, Grace loves to be adventurous; she is always looking for the next challenge in rock climbing, hiking, biking or anything outdoors.
Shannon McNamara is a communications consultant focused on helping small food and agriculture-related businesses and organizations communicate effectively and successfully online. She brings her clients more than 30 years of experience in communications strategy development utilizing a wide variety of vehicles. Her work focuses on digital communications including websites, search engine optimization, paid search programs and customer relationship management marketing.
Shannon collaborated with the Minor Use Foundation to develop the organization’s website and bring the Foundation’s priority setting process online. She continues to provide support to the Foundation assisting with workshops, communications, website management, and other projects that draw on her experience.
Shannon has a B.A. in Advertising with a minor in Japanese from Michigan State University. She is also a graduate of The Japan Adventure Program, a year-long, work-study program of intensive Japanese language and culture in Shiga, Japan through Lansing Community College. When she’s not working, she enjoys hiking, going to concerts, photography, beading, and gardening.
James A. Okeno is a plant breeder and geneticist with a PhD from the University of Giessen, Germany, and MSc Crop Science/Plant Breeding and BSc Agriculture from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Now the CEO and Founder of AGTECH Consulting Ltd, James began his career in 1999 teaching plant breeding, biotechnology and research methods at Moi University, formerly Chepkoilel Campus but now the University of Eldoret in Kenya. In May 2022, he received the Research Award for Sustainable Agriculture by the Schweinfurth Foundation in cooperation with Support Africa International. Throughout his distinguished career, James has developed highly regarded expertise in crop science, biotechnology, regulatory, and policy issues related to agricultural research and development. James now applies his expertise to lead the Minor Use Foundation’s strategic growth in the Africa region.
James lives in Nairobi, Kenya, and holds a permanent residency of the U.S. where his family lives.
Prior to joining the Minor Use Foundation, Veronica led the Laboratory for Analysis of Agrochemical Residues in Costa Rica’s Office of Sanitary and Phytosanitary matters and oversaw the process of establishing its international accreditation (ISO 17025). She has also served as the Costa Rican delegate to the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues, the body responsible for setting international pesticide residue standards under the joint hospices of the WHO and the FAO. A chemist by training, she has extensive experience managing studies related to the magnitude of pesticide residues. She now serves as the Foundation’s Study Director for Central America and the Caribbean, as well as the Manager for Technical Operations. She lives in San Jose, Costa Rica and In her spare time, she enjoys being with her family and riding her bike.
Dr. Sasireka Rajendran earned her PhD in Processing and Food Engineering from the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India. Since then, she has deepened her experience in pesticide science and plant health issues through her work with the Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) based at Bangkok, Thailand where she has served as Project Manager for Asia Pesticide Residue Mitigation and Promotion of Biopesticides and Agroecology and Safe Food Systems Transitions projects. Sasi is the liaison between the MUF technical experts and our field operations in Asia and leads the MUF’s strategic growth in the region.
She resides in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. Sasi enjoys traveling to historical places with her husband and reads books in free time.