Alta. ag research agency appoints new CEO

Alberta’s agricultural research organization will have a new chief executive officer as of March 1. Dr. Mark Redmond will replace Dr. Gerald Hauer, who has been interim CEO since April 1, 2020, when Results Driven Agriculture Research was first established.

Redmond is a former associate dean at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and has held adjunct professor positions at the University of Alberta and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

Most recently, he was the director of incubation service at BioAlliance in Prince Edward Island. He has more than 25 years of experience in business, research and academia, the bulk of it involving the agricultural industry.

“Mark has led organizations through challenges and change, strategic and business planning, financial stewardship and economic analysis, and industry partner communication at all levels,” said RDAR chair Dr. David Chalack in announcing Redmond’s appointment.

“He has worked extensively with boards in the public and private sector, providing strategic advice, briefings and reports, as well as serving as chair and board member. He has also served extensively on federal and provincial government committees developing policy recommendations. Mark is very well positioned to lead our team, and we will benefit from his wealth of experiences.”

Redmond has a PhD in molecular biology and immunology and also has experience as a medical researcher, intellectual property manager and health systems administration.

Both Chalack and Alberta agriculture minister Devin Dreeshen thanked Hauer for his service to RDAR in the first months of its development.

RDAR is a non-profit organization formed to take over agricultural research previously handled by Alberta Agriculture. The provincial government has committed $37 million annually to RDAR, which then selects research projects slated for funding.

It announced the first funding recipients earlier this month when it designated $7 million for various agricultural research projects.

RDAR’s formation has not been without controversy because it replaced many of the research projects and initiatives previously handled by government agriculture department employees.

More than 300 people have lost their jobs with the government in the past year. Some researchers transferred to Alberta’s universities and colleges when the government provided short-term funding for their positions.

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