Director of Research and Technology
Phone: 202-547-7800 ext. 5
Burleson Smith is NAWG’s research and technology director. He works to evaluate pathways to increase the agronomic and economic viability of wheat through public and private breeding programs and other sources of technology that support wheat growers.
Prior to NAWG, Smith served as vice president of environmental affairs and sustainability at the United Fresh Produce Association (UFPA) where he worked with the Center for Global Produce Sustainability’s advisory board to publish the Sustainability Guide and Self-Assessment for Fruit and Vegetable Production.
He was a principal with the Policy Navigation Group, providing consulting services on natural resource and environmental issues. He also worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture as Director of Pest Management Policy from 2002-09 where he advised the Deputy Secretary on pesticide and environmental policy. At USDA, he served as liaison with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on agriculturally-related environmental issues and provided expertise to the Department of State and EPA regarding methyl bromide under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
Smith has extensive experience in the crop nutrient and crop protection sectors. He was a Congressional Science Fellow with the House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture.
Smith is a native Texan and obtained his Master’s and Bachelor of Science degrees from Texas A&M University. He and his wife live in Fairfax County Virginia and have two adult children.