President

Pradeep Wagle
Pradeep Wagle, PhD
Interdisciplinary Research Agronomist, USDA-ARS, Grazinglands Research Laboratory, Oklahoma, USA
Email: waglepradeep at gmail dot com

Dr. Pradeep Wagle is an internationally recognized scientist on biosphere-atmosphere interactions, carbon and water cycles of terrestrial ecosystems, and remote sensing of vegetation as documented in >70 SCI indexed peer-reviewed articles and >100 conference abstracts. He received a Ph.D. in Crop Science from Oklahoma State University (OSU), USA in 2013. From 2013 to 2015, Dr. Wagle worked as a postdoctoral research associate and research scientist at the University of Oklahoma (OU). Since 2016, he has been working as a Research Scientist with the USDA-ARS, Grazinglands Research Laboratory, El Reno, OK, USA. Dr. Wagle has received Certificate of Merits/Outstanding Performance Awards from the USDA for consecutive years for his exceptional research and professional achievements. As an adjunct faculty, he also supervises/mentors graduate students and postdoctoral researchers at OSU and OU. He is an Associate Editor for the Remote Sensing Journal, an Editorial Board Member for the Agricultural and Forest Meteorology Journal, a Managing Editor for the Global Journal of Agricultural and Allied Sciences, and a reviewer for myriad professional journals of meteorology, ecosystems/ecology, climate change, and remote sensing. Dr. Wagle served as a Founding Committee Member for 2015-2016, Joint Secretary for 2016-2018, General Secretary for 2018-2020, and Vice President for 2020-2022 before assuming the role of NAPA’s President for the fourth Executive Committee (2022-2024).

Vice-President

Ramee Ghimire
Ramjee Ghimire, PhD
Outreach Specialist and Director for International Short Courses in “Food Safety” and “Zoonotic Diseases”, Michigan State University, Michigan, USA
Email: ramghi at gmail dot com

Dr. Ramjee Ghimire is multidisciplinary researcher cum development specialist on education and sustainable development, including agricultural development. He earned a Ph.D. in Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies from Michigan State University, Michigan, USA in 2016. He provides oversight to international short courses in food safety and zoonotic diseases. Collaborating with research and extension officials and university faculty, Dr. Ghimire has led many research and outreach initiatives for demand-driven, participatory, and pluralistic extension services and facilitated training programs for extension professionals and agricultural entrepreneurs in Asia, Africa, and USA. Prior to joining MSU, Dr. Ghimire served for over 16 years at the Department of Livestock Services in Nepal providing technical and administrative oversight to district livestock extension programs and departmental monitoring and evaluation. He also had the privilege of coordinating with several stakeholders including ministries to develop national rangeland policy for Nepal. He led several collaborative projects on animal disease prevention and control and community development with national and international NGOs including FAO, USAID, Winrock International, among others. He served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Policy and Research Brief Editorial Committee and contributed to several other NAPA Committees (e.g., Resource Capacity Building Committee). Dr. Ghimire has been serving as a reviewer for over half a dozen journals and he is widely published.

General Secretary

Nityananda Khanal
Nityananda Khanal, PhD
Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Beaverlodge, Alberta, Canada
Email: nityananda.khanal at gmail dot com

Dr. Nityananda Khanal has been leading the Forage Research Program at Beaverlodge Research Farm in the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada since 2016. He developed and diversified the research program covering the aspects of cropping systems design, soils and plant nutrient management, plant growth regulation, plant protection, population improvement, breeder’s seed maintenance and cultivar testing to support the forage sector in western Canada. He earned a doctorate degree in Plant Science from University of Saskatchewan in 2011. He received 14 academic scholarship awards including Outstanding PhD Student Award, and numerous recognitions for his dedicated professional work. His research innovations have been published in peer reviewed journals, conference proceedings, industry magazines and extension media. He also serves as a science advisor to various industry associations and is invited to deliver talks in industry events in western Canada. Prior to his doctoral and postdoctoral career in Canada, Dr. Khanal served in his motherland Nepal as a teacher, researcher and developmental specialist for over a decade. After coming to Canada, Dr. Khanal helped hundreds of Nepalese individuals and families in various ways and took initiatives in cultural promotion activities. Dr. Khanal is a NAPA life member. He previously served as Editor-in-Chief of the NAPA quarterly online newsletter Agri-Connection (2018-2020), Executive Member and Chair of Resource and Capacity Building Committee (2020-2022), Co-Chair of 2nd NAPA International Scientific Conference Organizing Committee, Chair of Research Mini-Grant Symposium in NAPA 3rd International Scientific Conference (2022), Judge of competitive NAPA Agri-Poem programs held in conjunction with NAPA Scientific Conferences (2020, 2022), Coordinator of Agri-Poem program on NAPA Day’s celebrations (2018, 2019), editor of Krishika Susheleeharu (2021) - an agri-poem compendium published by NAPA out of poems submitted to 2nd NAPA International Conference, Advisor to Research Mini-Grant awardee students and member of NAPA by-laws revision committee (2020 & 2021). Dr. Khanal was featured in the Agri-Connection newsletter as NAPA Member of the Quarter and recognized by NAPA President and Executive Committee with an Outstanding Service Award. Dr. Khanal feels an honor to serve as General Secretary of the NAPA in the 4th Executive Committee (2022-2024).

Joint Secretary

Sushil Thapa

Sushil Thapa, PhD

Assistant Professor of Agronomy, University of Central Missouri
E-mail: ag.sushilthapa at gmail dot com

Dr. Sushil Thapa has served NAPA as an Editor of the Agri-Connection newsletter (2018-2020), member of the Executive Committee (2020-2022), Editor-in-chief of Agri-Connection Newsletter (since 2020), member of the Scientific Committee for NAPA conference 2020, and member of the conference organizing committee for NAPA conference 2022. For the 2022-2024 executive term, he is going to serve NAPA as the Joint Secretary. By training, Dr. Thapa is an agronomist and crop physiologist. Currently, he works as an Assistant Professor of Agronomy at the University of Central Missouri. Previously, he worked with the Texas A&M University, where he received two prestigious awards – “Award of Excellence” and “Special Achievement Award for Research Collaboration.” In 2022, Dr. Thapa received the outstanding reviewer award from Agronomy headquarters in Switzerland. He is also a recipient of a Dutch government scholarship, a Chinese government scholarship, and a Future Leader scholarship from Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD), Washington, D.C. Dr. Thapa earned his Ph.D. in Systems Agriculture (Agronomy) from West Texas A&M University and M.S. in Agro-Ecology from Wageningen University, the Netherlands. His productivity has resulted in more than 75 publications in various forms including 20+ peer-reviewed journal articles as the first author. Dr. Thapa currently serves as the reviewing editor for the Journal of Crop Improvement and Editor of the Nepalese Journal of Agricultural Sciences. He is also a reviewer for 20+ international journals. While in Nepal, Dr. Thapa worked with various agricultural projects supported by FAO, WFP, and USAID.

Treasurer

Bishwo Adhikari

Bishwo Adhikari, PhD

Plant Pathologist, USDA APHIS Plant Germplasm Quarantine Program, Beltsville, Maryland, USA

Dr. Bishwo Adhikari is the Lead Plant Pathologist and Program Manager of the Poaceae Quarantine Program with the USDA APHIS Plant Germplasm Quarantine Program. He works with plant pathogens and develops diagnostic methods for quarantine regulation and management. He has worked as a bioinformatician, research geneticist, and molecular biologist for the Department of Defense, USDA Agricultural Research Service, and Michigan State University. Dr. Adhikari also worked as a Plant Protection Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Nepal for about five years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from Tribhuvan University, Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS), Nepal, master’s degree in Nematology from Ghent University, belgium, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Brigham Young University. He has authored several peer-reviewed publications, and book chapters, and served as editor and reviewer (a job that only pays thank yous) for several journals. Dr. Adhikari is a member of the American Phytopathological Society and a Life Member of NAPA. He lives in Maryland with his wife and two children. When he is not working (which he rarely does) he enjoys long-distance running, hiking, and watching sci-fi movies with his children.

Members

Buddhi Gyawali

Buddhi Gyawali, PhD

Professor, Kentucky State University

Dr. Buddhi Gyawali is a professor of Geospatial Applications, Climate Change, and Human Dimensions of the Environment in the School of Agriculture, Communities, and Environment at Kentucky State University. Dr. Gyawali serves as Graduate Coordinator for the Masters of Environmental Studies (MES) Program, Lead Scientist for the Center for Geospatial Intelligence and Environmental Security, and Director of the Summer Apprenticeship Program at Kentucky State University. He was President of the Southern Rural Sociological Association (SRSA), 2021-2022. Dr. Gyawali also serves on the KY Governor’s Advisory Council for Geographic Information Systems, is a Board Member of the Association of Nepalese in Midwest America (ANMA), and an advisor of the Association of Nepalese in Kentucky America (ANKA). Dr. Gyawali recently completed 9-months long LEAD 21 Class 17, Leadership for the 21st Century professional training. Dr. Gyawali has experience in developing and securing multidisciplinary research, education, and outreach grants. His teaching and research are in several cross-disciplinary fields, including coupled dynamics of human-environment relationships, geospatial applications, agroecosystem, and microclimate and ecosystems studies. Dr. Gyawali believes in the collaborative culture within NAPA and capitalize NAPA’s strengths and diversity to develop new partnerships for enriching the agricultural workforce in Nepal and the USA

Dev Paudel
Dev Paudel, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Email: dpaudel at outlook dot com

Dr. Dev Paudel is currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Environmental Horticulture Department at the University of Florida - Gulf Coast Research And Education Center where he is studying genomics of blackberry and citrus. Dr. Paudel received his Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science in 2009. After completing undergraduate degree, he worked as Horticultural Development Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture in Nepal, where he was stationed at the District Agricultural Development Office in Sindhuli. Dr. Paudel completed his MS degree in Crop Science from Texas Tech University in 2012 under the guidance of Dr. Eric Hequet where he evaluated the potentials of new testing methods in cotton breeding. After this, he worked as a Research Technician at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research in Pecos, TX where he optimized growing algae for biofuel. Dr. Paudel received Graduate School Fellowship from the University of Florida to complete his PhD in Agronomy where he studied genomics and breeding of elephantgrass. After PhD, he worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Agronomy Department at the University of Florida where he worked on genome wide association studies in cowpea and GXE interactions in turfgrass. Dr. Paudel is a life member of NAPA. In the immediate past term, he was the Joint Secretary and was also responsible for maintaining and updating the NAPA website.

Dol Dhakal
Dol Dhakal, MS
Senior Research Associate, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Lubbock Texas

Mr. Dol P Dhakal was born in Nepal in 1966 and brought up in Gorkha District, a remote hilly region of the country. He completed his high school education from the same place in 1987. He holds a Bachelor (BSc. Ag.) degree specialized in plant protection from Tribhuvan University, Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS), Nepal in 1992. After his BSc,he joined the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) as a research officer in 1993. After having worked there for about seven years, he earned his master’s degree (M. Sc.) in Natural Resources: Plant Health and Protection from the Natural Resources Institute (NRI), the University of Greenwich, United Kingdom as a British Council Scholar in 2001. His research on his master’s degree was focused on “the Study of the Significance and Causes of Rhizome Rot Disease of Large Cardamom (Amomum subulatum Roxb.) in the mid hills of Nepal”. After having graduated from the NRI, he continued working in the same organization as a Research Scientist on horticultural pathology. He was mainly focused on epidemiology and management of vegetable diseases. He has wide experiences on disease management on vegetables, especially potato, tomato, and crucifers. After working more than 10 years at NARC as a Senior Research Scientist, he worked in a National Level NGO named “Nepal Agroforestry Foundation” (NAF) in the Capacity of Executive Director for about two years before entering the USA in 2006. Currently, Mr. Dhakal has been working at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Lubbock Texas since 2018 as a Senior Research Associate. His Research Focus is on Cotton Pest Management. Mr. Dhakal is a Life Member of the Society of Agricultural Scientist Nepal, Life Member of NGO Federation of Nepal, Life Member of the Plant Protection Association of Nepal, Member of EntomologicalSociety of America, and a Life Member of the NAPA.

Kripa Dhakal
Kripa Dhakal, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Tennessee State University, McMinnville, TN

Dr. Kripa Dhakal is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Otis L. Floyd Nursery Research Center, Tennessee State University, McMinnville, TN. She is working on insect behavior and chemical ecology, including the development of behavioral bioassays and soil chemical analysis. Dr. Dhakal completed her bachelor’s degree from the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS), Nepal in 2009 and M.Sc. Agriculture from the same university major in soil science in 2011. Afterward, she joined the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Government of Nepal as a planning officer. In 2017, she joined Ph.D. in the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Tennessee State University in the organic agriculture program and completed her Ph.D. degree in 2021. Her research focused on organic vegetable production and its phytochemical constituents, sensory qualities, and soil properties. She published her work in peer-reviewed journals and she participated in national and international conferences. Dr. Dhakal is a life member of the Association of Nepalese Agricultural Professionals of Americas (NAPA). In the past term (2020-2022) Dr. Dhakal served as a committee member of Women in Agricultural and Allied Professions (WAAP).

Pramod Dhakal
Pramod Pokhrel, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Dr. Pramod Pokhrel is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University. He completed his B.Sc. (Agriculture) from the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS), Nepal, in 2010. He worked as a District Coordinator for Vegetable Seed Project (VSP-III) at the Center for Environmental and Agricultural Policy Research, Extension, and Development (CEAPRED), Okhaldhunga, from 2012- to 2013. He joined Dryland Agricultural Institute at West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas, in 2014 and completed the MS in 2016. He completed his Ph.D. in 2020 from Texas A&M University. Dr. Pokhrel’s past and current research focuses on cropping systems, crop simulation modeling, and greenhouse gas emission. He is the vice-leader of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) Soil Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Emissions community and will serve as leader of the community in 2023. Dr. Pokhrel is a life member of NAPA. In the immediate past term, he was a member of the Resource and Capacity Building Committee (RCBC) and chair of the Career and Outreach Committee (COC). He initiated and coordinated the NAPA Graduate Assistantship compilation and posting page.

Uma Karki
Uma Karki, PhD
Professor & State Extension Livestock Specialist, Tuskegee University
E-mail: u_karki at yahoo dot com

Dr. Uma Karki is a Professor of Animal Science and State Extension Livestock Specialist at the College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama. Dr. Karki got her PhD in Forage and Grazing Land Ecology from Auburn University, Master's degree in Animal Science from the University of Western Australia, Australia, and Bachelor’s degrees in Animal Science and Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry from the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Dr. Karki's current research and Extension work focus on promoting the sustainable livestock production system with special concentrations on 1) sustainable year-round forage production and grazing/browsing management, 2) integrated approach for preventing diseases and parasites in small ruminants, and 3) sustainable agroforestry systems to promote efficient land management and diversified income opportunities for farmers and landowners. She has presented many research and extension papers in numerous national, international, and local conferences, meetings, and training events. Her research and extension work are published in various journals, conference proceedings, newsletters, training handbooks, research highlights, magazines, and many other outlets. She has solely edited two training handbooks and authored seven chapters in those handbooks. She served in the editorial board of NAPA book project and has been serving as an editor of the Global Journal of Agricultural and Allied Sciences (GJAAS). She is a life member of NAPA, member of American Society of Animal Science, life member and current president of the Association for Temperate Agroforestry (AFTA), vice chair of 1890 Agroforestry Consortium, and a member of several other professional organizations and honor societies. She has received Agroforestry Early Career Award (AFTA 2017), 1890 Excellence in Extension Award (Association of Extension Administrators, 2015), and Outstanding Faculty Performance Award for Service (Tuskegee University, 2013).

Immediate Past President

Sushil Thapa

Megha N. Parajulee, PhD

Professor, Faculty Fellow, and Texas A&M Regents Fellow, Texas A&M University Research Center, Lubbock, Texas, USA
E-mail: kapashakim at gmail dot com

Former faculty member at Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Rampur, Nepal, Dr. Parajulee earned B.Sc. (Agri. Econ.) (1987) from Himachal Pradesh, India, and M.S. (1991) and Ph.D. (1994) in Entomology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Parajulee joined Texas A&M University in 1994 as a cotton entomologist/research scientist and is serving as the Cotton Entomology Program Leader since 2001. Dr. Parajulee is a leader in cotton entomology research, teaching, and service, with 120 refereed and over 330 non-refereed publications, 160 invited and 300 submitted presentations, and 35 M.S./Ph.D. students mentored during his 28-year tenure at Texas A&M. He is also active internationally with plenary/keynote roles in 18 countries. Dr. Parajulee has served as an agricultural resource person in Nepal from his home state of Texas for over 20 years, including six months as a Fulbright Senior Scholar. He is regularly engaged in agricultural and higher education policy discussions with National Planning Commission and agricultural universities. Dr. Parajulee received the Texas A&M Vice Chancellor's Award in Research Excellence, Faculty Fellow Award, Regents Fellow Award, Texas A&M Vice Chancellor's Award in Team Research, Entomological Society of America Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Excellence Award, and US Department of Agriculture Southern Region IPM Hall of Fame Award. He is a member of Entomological Society of America (ESA), including ESA National Program Chair (2010), Society of Southwestern Entomologists (President, 2010), ESA International Branch, (President, 2017), and Association of Nepalese Agricultural Professionals of Americas (NAPA). Dr. Parajulee served on the Working Committee that established NAPA in 2016 and served as Founding Life Member and Coordinator of NAPA’s First General Assembly in Dallas, Texas in 2016, which ratified NAPA bylaws and elected its first executive committee. Dr. Parajulee continued to serve NAPA for two terms as Vice President before assuming the role of President for the third executive committee (2020-2022). Dr. Parajulee is also the Founding Editor-In-Chief of Global Journal of Agricultural and Allied Sciences (GJAAS).

Previous Committees

Executive Committee (2020-2022)
Executive Committee (2018-2020)
Executive Committee (2016-2018)