Dr. Tara VanToai – Senior Vice President
During her 30-year professional career, Dr. VanToai worked as a supervisory scientist at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, where she conducted research in the area of agricultural biotechnology. She also held an adjunct Professor appointment at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, where she supervised, trained and sponsored 3 Ph.D. and 10 M.S. students, 28 visiting scholars, and 2 post-doctorates. Her protégés now hold important positions in private industry, academia, international organizations and government agencies.
Dr. VanToai provided workshops on current techniques in agricultural biotechnology at prestigious national and international organizations including: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Sendai, Japan; Soybean Biotechnology Workshop, Bejing, China; Vietnam Agricultural Science Institute, Hanoi University, and Cantho University, Vietnam; Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations, Rome, Italy; Plant & Animal Genome VIII. San Diego, CA; Post-Green Revolution, Sustainable Agricultural Development, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhianna, India; Seed Biology Symposium, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Dr. VanToai was invited to present plenary speeches, seminars and symposiums at numerous national and international conferences and meetings including: USDA-ARS, International Seminar Program, Beltsville, MD; International Meeting of Crop Science Society of America, Indianapolis, Indiana; 8th Conference of the International Society for Plant Anaerobiosis, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, 7th Conference of the International Society for Plant Anaerobiosis, University of Nijmegen, the Netherland; International Congress in Plant Biology, Sao Paolo, Brazil.
Dr. VanToai worked with federal government interagency groups, high-level international officials and the private sector organizations to assess the agricultural biotechnology regulatory framework and its impact on international trade. She also represented the USDA at U.S. Department of State bilateral meetings with Vietnam on Science and Technology.
Dr VanToai was elected Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, the highest honor a professional society bestows to its outstanding members. She was also a Fellow of the Ohio Academy of Science and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
After her retirement in 2012, Dr. VanToai continues to serve as a consultant for the USDA-Agricultural Research Service. She started her own business, VanToai LLC, which distributes high-tech dietary supplements and beauty products. She is now part of US-Asia Links as a Senior Vice President.
Dr. VanToai received a Ph. D in Agricultural Sciences from The Ohio State University and a M.S. in Agricultural Sciences from Cornell University. She is a graduate of the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School Program for Senior Executives in Government.