Our Executive Board

WASHINGTON, DC. – The Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP) is pleased to announce the results of its election of new Board members which was held during the Winter CSSP Leadership Workshop, December 4-6, 2021. G. Warfield "Skip" Hobbs, the managing partner of Ammonite Resources, has been elected as a Member at Large. For 2022 Michael Grusak, Ph.D., assumes the role of CSSP Chair as Lisa Keefe, Ph.D. steps down from serving in that position in 2021 to assume the role of Past Chair. The CSSP thanks Malcolm Butler, Ph.D., for his time on the CSSP Board, which comes to an end on December 31, 2021.

Other members of the 2022 Board include Past Chair Lisa Keefe, Secretary Patricia Simmons, and Treasurer Joseph Ferrara. Members at large are John Downing, Jennifer Tank, April Ulery, Alumni member Sharon Mosher, Ethics/Legal Advisor Haskell Pitluck, and President Emeritus Martin A. Apple.

Board Member Biographies

Michael A. Grusak

Chair (January-December 2022)
Crop Science Society of America
USDA, Agricultural Research Service

Dr. Mike Grusak is a USDA, Agricultural Research Service scientist and the Center Director of the Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center in Fargo, North Dakota. He leads a program consisting of five research units where scientists encompass expertise ranging from crop plants to insects to food safety. The Center's broad mission is to solve problems that will help farmers produce a safe, nutritious, and sustainable food supply. Prior to his appointment as Center Director in 2017, Dr. Grusak served as a Research Plant Physiologist at the USDA-ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center (CNRC) in Houston, TX and a Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. He joined the CNRC in 1990 to develop an interdisciplinary program to link plant science and production agriculture with human nutrition concerns. His research involves understanding ways to enhance the nutritional quality of plant foods for human or animal consumption. His group also has contributed to clinical investigations by providing stable isotope-labeled plant material to study nutrient bioavailability and metabolism in humans. Dr. Grusak received his Ph.D. in Botany from the University of California-Davis. His research has been funded by USDA, NSF, NIH, the US Agency for International Development, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2016, he served as President of the Crop Science Society of America.

Lisa Keefe

Lisa Keefe

Past Chair (January-December 2022)
American Crystallographic Association
Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute

Dr. Keefe is a biophysicist whose work focuses on accelerating drug discovery through synchrotron-based structural biology. She is Vice President for Advancing Therapeutics at the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute (HWI) in Buffalo, NY, and Director of the Industrial Macromolecular Crystallography Association – Collaborative Access Team (IMCA-CAT) located at the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. At IMCA-CAT, her work is aimed at implementing state-of-the-art technology and innovative approaches at the macromolecular crystallography beamline in order to leverage the power of synchrotron radiation for structure-based drug design. Through her leadership, IMCA-CAT has developed into a world-class research facility for the pharmaceutical industry.

A graduate of Vassar College, Dr. Keefe earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry with certification from the American Chemical Society. She holds a doctoral degree in Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Upon completing her doctorate, she was awarded a Department of Energy Alexander Hollaender Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship, working jointly with Argonne National Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Dr. Keefe is an active member of the American Crystallographic Association, serving on Council as Past President (2019), President (2018), Vice President (2017), and Secretary (2003-2008). She currently serves as consultant to the International Union of Crystallography, Commission on Synchrotron and XFEL Radiation

Joseph Ferrara

Treasurer (2020-2022)
American Crystallographic Association
Rigaku Americas Corp

Dr. Ferrara has spent the last 30 years developing hardware and software tools for X-ray crystallography and X-ray imaging for the research community. He is currently Chief Science Officer, Rigaku Americas Corp and Vice President, X-ray Research Laboratory, Rigaku Corporation. Dr. Ferrara is a member and past chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for the BioTech Institute of the Lone Star Community College System. Dr. Ferrara is the President of the America Crystallographic Association and the Books Editor for ACA RefleXions. Dr. Ferrara is also a Texas State Firefighters' and Fire Marshals' Association certified firefighter and National Registry Emergency Medical Responder. He has been a member of Timber Lakes Volunteer Fire Department for over 25 years and Treasurer for 15 years.

Dr. Ferrara received both his Bachelor of Science and Doctorate degrees from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He conducted undergraduate research in ion cyclotron resonance under Prof. R. C. Dunbar while his graduate research focused on physical organometallic chemistry under Prof. Wiley C. Youngs. Upon completing his doctorate in 1988, he joined Molecular Structure Corporation, which became a subsidiary of Rigaku Corporation in 1996.

April Ulery

Secretary (2023-2025)
Soil Science Society of America
New Mexico State University

Dr. April Ulery became President of the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) in 2021. She is a Professor of Soil and Environmental Science in the Plant and Environmental Sciences Department at New Mexico State University where she teaches and conducts research on phytoremediation and environmental soil chemistry and helps develop teaching animations that explain soil science concepts. Her research has been funded through the USDA, NASA, state agencies, and private companies. She earned her B.S. degree in Geology from the University of Redlands and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Soil Science from the University of California, Riverside. April is a Fellow of the SSSA and recipient of several teaching and mentoring awards, She has served on over 60 graduate student committees while at NMSU and mentored hundreds of undergraduates in Soil and Environmental Sciences.

David Baltensperger

Member-at-Large (2020-2022)
Soil Science Society of America
Texas A&M University

Dr. David Baltensperger began his role as Professor and Department Head of Soil and Crop Sciences in October 2005 and recently completed serving his role as Interim Department Head for Ecosystem Science and Management. Baltensperger provides leadership and administration for a large comprehensive program of research, teaching and extension in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences.


John Downing

Member-at-Large (2020-2022)
Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography
Minnesota Sea Grant

John Downing is Director of Minnesota Sea Grant College Program, and a past-president of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO). As a past Chair of the CSSP Executive Board he participated in visits to Congress on behalf of CSSP and as a member of the Consortium of Aquatic Science Societies. He was a Regent's Excellence Professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, and the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University. He is Chair of the Environmental Science Graduate Program. He is also an adjunct professor at Itasca Community College where he is helping create a water quality technology program to provide employment opportunities to students in an economically depressed region. His research interests include limnology, aquatic ecology, terrestrial ecology, microbial ecology, biogeochemistry, population conservation, and whole ecosystem restoration and management. He has advised many policy-makers and citizens groups concerning water resources, global change, and global carbon cycling as well as science policy, and science education, and is a frequent consultant to firms and boards regionally, nationally, and internationally. He was formerly a professor at McGill University and the University of Montreal where he was Director of the Laurentian Biological Station and Chair of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council panel on Environment, Evolution & Ecology

Patricia Simmons

Member-at-Large (2021-2023)
National Science Teaching Association
National Science Foundation

Patricia Simmons currently serves as the Director of STEM Special Initiatives at the NSTA. Prior to this position, she completed a Science & Technology Policy Fellowship at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2016-2018), working in the Engineering Directorate at the National Science Foundation. Academic positions have included Professor and Head of the Department of STEM Education at North Carolina State University, the Orthwein Professorship of Life-long Learning in the Sciences at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Professor at the University of Georgia, and High School Science Teacher in Missouri. Much of her scholarship has focused on the role of technology as viable and valuable learning and research tools in science education, and more recently on policy in science and in STEM education. Her professional contributions include more than 200 publications and presentations at international and national meetings in science and STEM education (i.e., World Conference on Computers in Education, International Federation for Information Processing, Australian Science Education Association, AAAS, NARST, AERA, NCTM, among many others). Simmons was awarded over $50 million in externally funded federal and private grants for research, teacher education, and education projects. Simmons served as Chair of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents, President of the National Science Teachers Association, and President of the Association for Science Teacher Education. She received awards for excellence in teaching and in science education at UGA (Lily Teaching Fellowship), UMSL (Outstanding Faculty), ASTE (Outstanding Science Teacher Educator), and NSTA (two Gustav Ohaus Awards for Outstanding College Science Teaching), and the NSTA Distinguished Service to Science Education.

Jennifer Tank

Member-at-Large (2020-2022)
Society for Freshwater Science
University of Notre Dame

Dr. Jennifer Tank is the Galla Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, and Director of the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI). Dr. Tank is a biogeochemist and ecosystem ecologist who studies how nutrients and particles move through streams and rivers, with a focus on restoration and conservation efforts that improve the structure and function of flowing waters. Her research informs management and policy of freshwaters especially around water quality in agricultural landscapes. Her federally-funded research program includes grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, and the Environmental Protection Agency. She currently serves as an associate editor for two journals: Biogeochemistry and Limnology & Oceanography Letters. Dr. Tank is also committed to science leadership and translation, which grew out of her participation as a 2013 Leopold Leadership Fellow. Most recently, she was the 2018-19 President of the Society for Freshwater Science, is a AAAS Elected Council Delegate for Agriculture, Food & Renewable Resources Section, and recently served on a panel for the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) on "Future Water Resource Needs for the Nation". Her goal is to improve the health of streams and rivers draining croplands of the Midwest through effective watershed-scale conservation.

Sharon Mosher

Alumni Member (2020-2022)
American Geosciences Institute
The University of Texas at Austin

Sharon Mosher is the William Stamps Farish Chair and Professor at The University of Texas at Austin. She was Dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences (2009-2020), department chair (2007-2009) and on the faculty since 1978. Dr. Mosher's expertise is in structural geology, structural petrology, and tectonics. Since 2014 she has spearheaded two National Science Foundation sponsored initiatives, one on the Future of Undergraduate Geoscience Education and since 2017 on graduate preparation for the workforce. Mosher was President of the American Geoscience Institute (AGI) in 2012-13, President of the Geological Society of America (GSA) in 2000-2001, and 2004 Chair of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents. She is a founder and past Chair of the Board for GeoScienceWorld, an international journal aggregation for geoscientists. She is the 2020 Marcus Milling Legendary Geoscientist Medalist awarded by the American Geoscience Institute. In 2016 she was awarded the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana. She is a fellow of the Geological Society of America, receiving the Distinguished Service Award in 2003, an honorary fellow of the Geological Society of London, and recipient of the Association of Women Geologists Outstanding Educator Award (1990). She received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1978 and M.Sc. from Brown University in 1975.

Martin Apple

President & CEO Emeritus, R&D Director
American Institute of Chemists

Dr. Apple has pioneered areas of biochemistry, pharmaceutics, artificial intelligence, sustainable agriculture, systems of systems science, behavioral economics, green chemistry, teacher education and medicine. He initiated a world pioneering research institute in molecular genetics to improve yield and nutrient quality of food plants, led a program to one of the first patented computer-assisted receptor-based drug designs, discovered new molecular tools to modify gene regulation, designed pioneering injectable systems for specific delivery of any drug to a designated specific tissue, designed, engineered and led a team that built the pioneering model of a pocket-size artificial kidney dialysis machine, initiated and led a special team into pioneering new cyber-security strategies, and managed – led several national scale long term NSF-funded studies of science teacher education. He was instrumental in the startup of five high tech companies.

On the Congress-chartered National Agricultural Research, Econ., Education and Extension Board he chaired or coauthored reports and policy guidance for Congress and USDA Secretary on water, germplasm, genetics and rural economic development. He chaired a unique multi-campus multi-disciplinary frontier new drug research alliance of top Principal Investigators across the University of California system, coauthored several books on medical pharmacology, oncology, and biotechnology. He has worked in the Philippines, Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt, Australia, China, Mexico, Peru, Columbia, France, Germany and Greece. He initiated the first International Network of Asian Women Entrepreneurs.

He has a PhD in Biochemistry from the Univ. California — elected to University California-Berkeley Sigma Xi [Life Member] and elected president of the California Association of Phi Beta Kappa. He is a Fellow of Phi Beta Kappa, of American Institute Chemists, and of American College Clinical Pharmacology, is a US Member of the Bretton Woods Committee. He was named to California's 100 "Leaders of Tomorrow," by the 20,000 member Commonwealth Club of California, received the CSSP Support of Science Award, was Vice-Chair of Congressionally chartered East-West Center Assoc. and won its Citation for Leadership. He served two terms as Board of Visitors Chair of the Univ. Maryland Biotech. Institute and was Board Chair of the American Institute of Chemists. He coauthored the Business Advantage, an A-I strategic planning software program that won Software Publishers Association Award as Best Program in Higher Education.

Hon. Haskell M. Pitluck, (Ret.)

Ethics/Legal Advisor
American Academy of Forensic Sciences

Hon. Haskell M. Pitluck, (Ret.) is a skilled mediator and arbitrator who garnered his extensive experience from serving as Circuit Judge, State of Illinois, Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, McHenry County for 22 years.