John Dole (Cohort 11) named FSLI Director

John Dole, a longtime professor and leader at North Carolina State University, has been named

the Director of the Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI), following the retirement of

Director Sam Pardue.

“I am thrilled to welcome John Dole as the new director of FSLI,” said Garey Fox, Dean of NC

State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and a former FSLI Fellow. “NC State is proud

to host FSLI and proud to have John Dole at the helm. I look forward to working with him as he

continues the important work of developing leaders in academia, industry and government, and

equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to guide the food systems of the future.”

Dole, professor of horticultural science in NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Science

(CALS) and former interim dean of the college, has been a member of the NC State faculty for

more than two decades. He previously served as associate dean and director of CALS Academic

Programs, head of the Department of Horticultural Science for five years and director of

graduate programs for the college for eight years.

Pardue said Dole brings a wealth of management experience to FSLI, which offers leadership

development to upper-level leaders in higher education, government and industry.

“Outstanding leadership is essential for the well-being of institutions, communities, and nations,”

Pardue said. “The COVID crisis demonstrated the value of visionary leadership. I am confident

that John Dole will successfully guide FSLI into its third decade of developing a new generation

of great leaders.”

“FSLI has had a major impact on food, agriculture and the life sciences. Training and guiding

excellent leaders is critical to the continued success of our academic fields and industries,” Dole

said. “I am honored to have the opportunity to expand the excellence and reach of FSLI leaders.”

An alumnus of the FSLI program, Dole brings a unique perspective on the leadership training

program and its participants.

“My leadership journey through FSLI will help me relate to and support the FSLI Fellows in the

various stages of their careers,” Dole said. “I look forward to integrating more industry leaders in

agriculture and life sciences into FSLI.”

A renowned floriculture expert, Dole’s research focuses on floricultural crop production and

postharvest handling and use of cut flowers, cuttings and poinsettias. He has given numerous

horticultural presentations around the country and world. Dole is a past chairman of the board of

the American Society for Horticultural Science, and a founding member of Seed Your Future,

which promotes horticulture, strives to inspire students to pursue careers in the field, and

provides educational materials to middle and high school students. Dole received the 2020

Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Minnesota.

Dole holds a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in

horticulture from the University of Minnesota. Before coming to NC State, he served on the

faculty at Oklahoma State University from 1989 to 2000.

About FSLI

The Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI) offers leadership development to upper-level

leaders in higher education, government, and industry. FSLI provides our Fellows with strategies

to handle the leadership challenges and opportunities for the future. The FSLI experience

develops or reinforces a series of core leadership competencies identified by a team of top-level

leaders including university presidents and chancellors and leaders from industry and the

nonprofit sector who understand the requirements of food systems leadership. These

professionals offer a wealth of understanding about leadership and the food system to help the

Fellows gain a better understanding of their leadership potential.

FSLI is a program of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), with the

initial funding provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. North Carolina State University is the

host site, with The Ohio State University and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis

Obispo being residential sites responsible for the implementation of the program.