Remembering Dr. Meryl Broussard

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                                                                                                                                                                         May 30, 2019

Remembering Dr. Meryl Broussard

Dr. Meryl Broussard

 May 25, 1950 – May 18, 2019

It is with great sadness that we note the May 18th passing of Dr. Meryl Broussard, Associate Director of Programs for USDA’s National Institute of Food Agriculture (NIFA). Dr. Broussard was responsible for the agency’s $1.7 billion science portfolio. Throughout his 33+ years of Federal service with NIFA and predecessor agencies, he demonstrated a sustained commitment to excellence and integrity in the many leadership roles he held. He respected and valued employees at all organizational levels, and was an advocate of employee work/life balance. Above all, he believed that the agency made a difference in the lives of the agency’s stakeholders, and he took every opportunity to remind NIFA staff that the work they do helps make a difference.

Dr. Broussard began his career as USDA’s first National Program Leader for Aquaculture, where he provided effective leadership in developing and implementing new university-based aquaculture research and extension outreach programs. His leadership abilities led to his promotion of Director for the Animal Systems Division within the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), where he led USDA’s extramural research and extension outreach programs aimed at developing enhanced and sustainable livestock production systems. Later, he joined the Senior Executive Service as the Deputy Administrator for Plant and Animal Systems within CSREES where he provided leadership for the agency’s sustainable plant and livestock production systems science program.

In 2008, he was asked to lead the planning, development, and establishment of NIFA as mandated in the 2008 Farm Bill. As a result, NIFA was built from the ground up. His leadership to NIFA’s new mission set a framework to optimize organizational effectiveness and to position NIFA as a catalyst in advancing science that benefits the American people. Following the establishment of NIFA, he was appointed as NIFA's first Deputy Director for Agriculture and Natural Resources. In 2014, following administrative realignment of the program and operational functions of the agency, he was appointed as the Associate Director for Programs responsible for the agency’s science portfolio.

His strong commitment to diversity and equal employment opportunities enhanced program delivery, while fostering a workplace environment that ensured co-workers, customers, partners, and stakeholders are treated fairly, and with dignity and respect.

Dr. Broussard will be remembered by the agency as a key figure in developing the modern organization, a major influence in the long-term growth in resources that the agency has to carry out its mission, a representative of his profession that raised the profile of agricultural science within the Federal science enterprise, and a colleague to those at every level that helped USDA/NIFA make a difference in people’s lives.

A tribute to recognize Dr. Broussard’s service and career will be held at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture located at 800 9th Street, SW, Washington, DC, on Thursday, June 6, 2019, beginning at 2:00 p.m. in Waterfront Centre room 1410. During this tribute guests are welcome to share their individual memories and stories about Dr. Broussard.