MODESTO, Calif. — The Almond Board of California (ABC) announces the promotion of Josette Lewis, Ph.D., to Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) from her present position of Director, Agricultural Affairs, which she had held since joining the Almond Board in early 2019.
Since joining ABC, Dr. Lewis has led the development, funding, and strategy of ABC’s agricultural research programs. Following the retirement of Dr. Karen Lapsley on July 31, 2020, Lewis will assume responsibility for human nutrition and biomass research, which Dr. Lapsley will continue to lead during the transition.
“Josette’s promotion to Chief Scientific Officer is exciting for all of us at ABC,” said Richard Waycott, president, and CEO, ABC. “Her insight and expertise will continue the work ABC has accomplished under the leadership of Dr. Karen Lapsley, further building a foundation of knowledge in human nutrition and responsible farming practices in keeping with our vision to make life better by what we grow and how we grow.”
Research is an essential area of focus for ABC as it fuels vital initiatives like the Almond Orchard 2025 Goals, which set industry-wide targets in the areas of water efficiency, zero waste, environmentally friendly pest management, and air quality.
“I look forward to continuing almond research that supports the Almond Orchard 2025 Goals and positions California almonds in a way that they remain profitable and of the highest quality in the future,” Dr. Lewis said.
Dr. Lapsley, who has served the California almond industry for 21 years, has transitioned to the position of Senior Director, Nutrition Research, and Special Projects. Dr. Lapsley will continue to oversee biomass research, human nutrition, and other special projects until her retirement. She will also continue to participate in key cross-function efforts and provide a historical perspective on almond varieties globally.
Dr. Lewis has a doctorate in molecular biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her career experience includes agricultural research and policy spanning government, academic, nonprofit, and tech-based corporate sectors.