Transformative Leadership In Disruptive Times Advisory Council Member Profile
Director, Office of the Chief Scientist
Areas of Expertise
PERSONAL LEADERSHIP, LEADERSHIP FOR THE FUTURE OF WORK, CREATNG YOUR OWN PERSONAL TRANSFORMATIVE LEADERSHIP PLAN
Dr. Dionne Toombs leads the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS), with responsibility for providing scientific leadership and coordination across USDA and other federal agencies, and the agricultural community including the White House, Office of Science and Technology Policy, National Science and Technology Council. As director, Dr. Toombs manages the information OCS provides the Secretary of Agriculture and USDA science agencies, ensuring the scientific research and advice are held to the highest standards of intellectual rigor and scientific integrity. She spearheads collaboration with USDA committees, advisory boards and builds partnerships with the scientific community.
With over a decade of USDA service, Dr. Toombs has significantly contributed to USDA’s agricultural research, education, and extension services while serving in various leadership roles, including heading the Division of Nutrition at the National Institute of Food Agriculture (NIFA). In this role, Dr. Toombs led a cohort of USDA nutrition science leaders who helped steer science policy and program development. Previously, Dr. Toombs served as the National Program Leader for NIFA’s Agriculture Food and Research Initiative, leading large competitive grant programs.
Throughout her career, Dr. Toombs has helped her colleagues, staff, and students maximize their potential by bolstering their talents and developing their leadership skills.
Dr. Toombs has been repeatedly featured as one of USDA’s most impactful woman scientists. She was awarded the USDA Secretary’s Honor Award for her leadership and teamwork on the Small Business Innovation Research program in which she played a critical role in advancing rural economies.
Dr. Toombs received her Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from Howard University. She earned her Master of Science degree from Alabama A&M University and her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Bethune-Cookman University.