Director, U.S. National Arboretum at U.S. Dept of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service
Since 2015, Dr. Richard T. Olsen has served as the seventh Director of the United States National Arboretum (USNA). But Dr. Olsen was not always an administrator. From 2006 until his appointment, he was a research geneticist in the ornamental plant breeding and plant genetic resource programs at the National Arboretum. These long-term efforts are beginning to bear fruit as new ornamental tree and shrub cultivars and novel plant introductions are released to support the American nursery and landscape industry. Research expertise in plant breeding, genetics, and germplasm conservation, positions Dr. Olsen well in guiding the National Arboretum and its collaborations with industry and academic partners to provide new technologies and solutions for challenges facing American landscapes.
Dr. Olsen is a recognized international leader in the public garden arena, providing scientific expertise and practical knowledge to multiple national and international arboreta, urban forestry groups, and professional associations, including as honorary member of the Garden Club of America in 2019. Degrees cover all aspects of horticulture from a BS in landscape design (NC State University), through stress physiology during his MS (UGA), to his doctorate in plant breeding and genetics (NCSU).
ARS vision: lead America towards better future through agricultural research & information
The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency. Our job is finding solutions to agricultural problems that affect Americans every day from field to table.
ARS delivers scientific solutions to national and global agricultural challenges. Our Vision -- Global leadership in agricultural discoveries through scientific excellence. Core Values -- Scientific excellence, creativity, innovation, integrity, leadership, collaboration, accountability, transparency, diversity, respect, inclusiveness, and public service. These values underpin ARS’ commitment to delivering cutting-edge, scientific tools and innovative solutions for American farmers, producers, industry, and communities to support the nourishment and well-being of all people; sustain our nation’s agroecosystems and natural resources; and ensure the economic competitiveness and excellence of our agriculture.