NS/S Welcomes New Executive Director

By Janos Wilder, Chair, Native Seeds/SEARCH Board of Directors.

Native Seeds/SEARCH has a new Executive Director, Joy M. Hought, and we invite you to join us in welcoming her. Ms. Hought brings to us expertise, professional energy, local and international connections, and a proven passion for the mission of Native Seeds/Search.

Her leadership will bring Native Seeds/SEARCH into a new phase of growth and development, community engagement, and collaborations. Priority goals for the organization were established by the NS/S Board of Directors together with staff during a series of summer workshops, led by Robert Breunig, President Emeritus of the Museum of Northern Arizona, and a national expert in non-profit leadership and collection management. Especially critical to the ongoing mission of Native Seeds/SEARCH is our commitment to leveraging the wealth of the collection to support regional Native American farmers and communities, and to sustainable farms throughout the desert Southwest. These and other priorities were incorporated into the revised Executive Director position and used to guide our search.

Ms. Hought has the balance of expertise, experience, and vision needed to achieve all of these aims, and a proven energy and dedication for our mission. We are delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with her as she guides NS/S into its future as a leader in the living conservation of heritage seeds.

Joy is uniquely qualified to lead NS/S, with international and local experience in agricultural education, research, and on-farm conservation. Her degrees are from Northern Arizona University and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, from which she gained expertise in anthropology, agroecology, seed science, conservation genetics, and plant breeding. Ms. Hought also brings extensive relationships with other non-profit and academic entities dedicated to seed science and plant genetics, as well as arid-lands farming and culturally based food security.

We are delighted to announce that Joy M. Hought is our new Executive Director and a new member of non-profit leadership in southern Arizona.