Maria Gallo became Dean of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), and Director for Research and Cooperative Extension on July 16, 2012. She oversees the management of approximately 200 instructional, research, and extension faculty across the island state, and the educational programs of 900 undergraduate and graduate students.
Dr. Gallo earned her B.S. from Cornell University in Agronomy and her M.S. and Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in Crop Science and Genetics, respectively. Prior to assuming her position as Dean of CTAHR, Dr. Gallo served as Professor and Chair of the Agronomy Department at the University of Florida in Gainesville. She led multi-departmental initiatives aimed at improving undergraduate teaching and graduate education which were supported by federal and private grants. Her specific research expertise is in plant molecular biology, genetics, and biotechnology aimed at improving the performance and quality of tropical energy and agronomic crops.
In 2004, Dr. Gallo was honored with a Fulbright Scholar Award for Teaching and Research in the Netherlands that allowed her to integrate the scholarship of teaching and research abroad. In addition to authoring numerous publications, Dr. Gallo has served on various editorial boards for journals in her field. She is past chair of the Alliance of Crop, Soil and Environmental Science Societies and past president of the Crop Science Society of America and the American Peanut Research and Education Society. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy.
Dr. Gallo is passionate about the power of affordable, quality higher education and the need for scholarships and fellowships for deserving, intelligent young people regardless of their economic circumstances. She finds inspiration working at this unique “Hawaiian Place of Learning” with a diverse group of people from various disciplines and backgrounds. This diversity allows for creativity in solving problems, particularly relating to the production and science of food, the preservation of Hawai‘i’s natural resources, and the strengthening of communities. Dr. Gallo is committed to a food- secure and sustainable Hawai‘i for all the people of the Islands.