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Association of Nepalese Agricultural Professionals of Americas (NAPA)

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Ramjee P Ghimire, PhD

Michigan State University, MI USA

Email: ramghi at gmail dot com

Dr. Ghimire is a multidisciplinary researcher and development practitioner with expertise in international agricultural development and global health. He holds a Ph.D. in international agricultural development from Michigan State University (MSU), USA. At MSU, Dr. Ghimire oversees the WorldTAP food safety and Institute of Global Health (IGH) “Health Security, One Health and Zoonoses” training programs. He leads the Mekong One Health Innovation Program (MOHIP) in the Lower Mekong subregion and a project on Capacity Strengthening in Africa, among others. Dr. Ghimire has spearheaded international research, education, and outreach initiatives in collaboration with public, private, and nonprofit sectors, including academia. He has facilitated projects across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas promoting demand-driven, participatory, and pluralistic approaches. Before joining MSU, Dr. Ghimire served over sixteen years in Nepal providing technical and administrative oversight to district livestock development and animal health programs and monitoring and evaluation of national livestock services. Dr. Ghimire also coordinated with line ministries, agropastoralists, and development partner such as ICIMOD to develop the National Rangeland Policy. Additionally, he served in collaborative projects on animal disease prevention and control and community development with national and international NGOs, including but not limited to the FAO, the USAID, and Winrock International. Since joining NAPA in 2016, Dr. Ghimire has actively contributed to it: in the Research Brief Editorial Committee (2018-2020), Resource Capacity Building Committee (2018-2020), General Secretary (2020-2022), and VicePresident (2022-2024). Dr. Ghimire serves as a reviewer for over a dozen peer reviewed journals and is widely published.


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).

General Secretary

Ananta Acharya, Ph. D.
Data Lead, Early Product Development, Inari Agriculture, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA


Dr. Acharya is data lead, Early Product Development for Inari Agriculture. He leads scientists and data analysts who specialize in solving complex genomics and bioinformatics data problems and move the gene edited plants through the product development and plant breeding. Before joining Inari, Ananta worked as a research scientist in Corteva Agriscience. Dr. Acharya's research interests are use of Bioinformatics and computational biology in Agriculture, esp. crop improvement. He has experience in working with plant breeding, genetics, genomics and computational biology while in academia and while working in the agriculture industry. He has published multiple peer-reviewed articles in the field of plant breeding, genomics and bioinformatics. Dr. Acharya was Joint Secretary of NAPA (2018-2020) and has served in various sub-committees since 2017. He is also managing editor of GJAAS. 

Joint Secretary

Sanjok Poudel, PhD

Dr. Poudel is a postdoctoral research associate in Forage Lab at Virginia Tech. He earned his undergraduate degree in Agriculture Science from IAAS, Tribhuvan University, Nepal before completing his MS in Animal and Poultry Science from Tuskegee University, Alabama. Subsequently, he pursued his doctorate in Crop and Soil Environmental Science at Virginia Tech, Virginia. His broad research interests include understanding soil-plant-animal interactions in forage-livestock production systems, sustainable forage/livestock production, and agroforestry systems. Dr. Poudel has presented numerous research and extension papers at national, international, and local conferences, meetings, and training events.

He has published over a dozen peer-reviewed journal articles on the use of forages in animal production and sustainable grazing management. His expertise in the field has been acknowledged through several awards, notably the 2023 American Forage and Grassland Council Emerging Scientist Award and the 2022 Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) Gerald O. Mott Award


Sita Thapa, PhD

Research Scientist, Crop Protection Nematology, Corteva Agriscience, Indianapolis


Dr. Sita Thapa is currently working for Corteva Agriscience at Indianapolis headquarter as a Research Investigator. As a biologist, her role at Corteva is split between discovery and development. In discovery she is leading the screening cascade of chemistries at the initial phase of the pipeline against several species of nematodes. However, for the development role she supports the chemistry at the development phase towards the end of the pipeline and nematicides launched in the market. She has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from HICAST Nepal, she graduated as a gold medalist. She was honored from ex-President of Nepal Ram Baran Yadav for scoring highest scored among the girls during the last year of undergraduate in 2009.  After graduation she worked almost a year for FORWARD, Nepal. Then she moved to US for her master’s study. She did her masters and PhD from University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Her PhD project was funded by fellowship called Schlumberger Foundation, Faculty for the Future program. After completing her PhD, she moved to Michigan State University as a Postdoc and learned applied research to diversify her basic research expertise from her Graduate school. She has published several peer-revied articles in reputed journal with high impact factors. She was an editor for NAPA’s newsletter for over a year and NAPA’s life member. Beside NAPA, she is a member of Society of Nematologist from 2015, She is an active member participating and presenting every year in the conferences.  Besides work, she enjoys gardening, movies, and spending time with her family. She lives in Westfield Indiana with her husband and daughter.


Buddhi Achhami, PhD

Dr. Achhami grew up in Gorkha, Nepal, and is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at the University of California, Davis. His academic journey began with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science in Nepal, a master’s degree from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, and a PhD in ecology and environmental science from Montana State University, Montana. As an entomologist, he is interested in integrated pest management. His research mostly focused on insect-plant interactions, pest behavior, life tables, and insecticide efficacy. He has published 13 peer-reviewed journal articles and delivered a similar number of presentations on these topics. Also, he started his professional career as an entomologist at the Nepal Agricultural Research Council. Additionally, he has been an active member of NAPA since 2016, contributing to the organization as part of the membership drive committee.

Keshav Bhattarai, PhD

Department of Physical Sciences. University of Central Missouri, USA

Keshav Bhattarai is a Professor of Geography at the University of Central Missouri. Dr. Bhattarai has more than twenty years of teaching experience in the US, and fifteen years of professional experiences in forestry sector of the Government of Nepal. He was also a visiting faculty at the Forestry Institute in Nepal and a Fulbright Scholar at Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu. He served as a Department Chair at the Department of Geography at the University of Central Missouri.   He obtained his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Geography from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, and a Masters in Natural Resource Management degree from The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Prior to that he received AIFC degree from Indian Forest College, Dehradun, India.   Keshav has baccalaureate degrees in Biology, Economics, and Law from Tribhuvan University. He also obtained a diploma in Aeronautical Radio Engineering from International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Dr. Bhattarai teaches geospatial technology, economic geography, and contemporary geopolitical courses at the University of Central Missouri.     Dr. Bhattarai has published four books and numerous book chapters and journal articles. He has received several scholarly, research excellence, and international scholar awards.

Bhim Chaulagain, PhD

Digital Agronomist, Xarvio digital farming, BASF


Dr. Bhim Chaulagain is a Phytopathologist specializing in plant disease epidemiology, sustainable disease management, and smart crop protection technologies. He obtained his PhD in Plant Pathology from the University of Florida, US, in 2019. During his doctoral studies, he developed a sugarcane rust disease prediction system aimed at guiding growers in optimizing fungicide application timing and chemical management strategies. Following his PhD, Dr. Chaulagain worked as a post-doctoral researcher until mid-2020 before assuming the role of Digital Agronomist at Xarvio Digital Farming Solutions, BASF. In his current position, he works on development and improvement of the spray timer feature of the Field Manager digital farming tool, for corn and soy disease management including Healthy Field and Variable Rate Fungicides technologies in the North American and Latin American markets. Dr. Chaulagain has authored several peer-reviewed publications, and book chapters, and serving as editor for Plant Disease and Tropical Plant Pathology, in addition to offering his expertise as a reviewer for several scholarly publications. Dr. Chaulagain also worked as a Plant Protection Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Nepal for about four years. His outstanding contributions have earned him several awards and accolades throughout his career. An active member of NAPA, Dr. Chaulagain has contributed to the NAPA organization, serving in various capacities during past conferences.

Santosh Dhakal, PhD

Assistant Professor, Kansas State University


Santosh Dhakal completed B.V.Sc.&A.H. (2011) from Tribhuvan University, Nepal, and PhD (2018) from The Ohio State University, Ohio, USA. He is an Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. His research interests include virology, infectious diseases, vaccine development, immunology, and one-health. Dr. Dhakal is a NAPA life member. He served as the Treasurer of the NAPA executive committee (2020-2022), secretary for the 2nd NAPA Biennial International Scientific Conference (2020), and chair of outreach, advertising, and marketing during the 4th NAPA Biennial Scientific Conference (2024).  

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

Santosh Pathak, Ph.D.




Dr. Santosh Pathak is an economist serving as a risk management professional for a systemically important financial institution. He earned his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Louisiana State University in 2022 with specialization in agri-environmental policy and econometrics. Dr. Pathak previously worked with the LSU Agricultural Center, the Nepal Agricultural Economics Society, and the National Land Use Project. He also served as a mentor for the 2023 Daayitwa Nepal Public Policy Fellowship program. Dr. Pathak has authored over a dozen research and op-ed articles on economic policy, sustainability, and risk-based decision making. He has been recognized with multiple prestigious awards, including the Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award, the Distinguished Dissertation Award, and the PhD Student Job Market Paper Award.

Immediate Past President

Pradeep Wagle, Ph.D.

Research Agronomist, USDA-ARS, El Reno, OK, USA

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 >85 SCI-indexed peer-reviewed articles and >110 conference abstracts/proceedings. He received Ph.D. in Crop Science from Oklahoma State University (OSU), USA in 2013. From 2013 to 2015, Dr. Wagle worked as a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Oklahoma (OU). Since 2016, he has been working as a Research Scientist with the USDA-ARS, El Reno, OK, USA. Dr. Wagle has received Certificate of Merits/Outstanding Performance & Achievement Awards from the USDA-ARS 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 served as an Associate Editor for the Remote Sensing Journal and Managing Editor for the Global Journal of Agricultural and Allied Sciences. Currently, he serves as an Editorial Board Member for the Agricultural and Forest Meteorology Journal and as a reviewer for myriad professional journals of meteorology, ecosystems/ecology, climate change, hydrology, and remote sensing. Dr. Wagle served as a Founding Committee Member (2015-2016), Joint Secretary (2016-2018), General Secretary (2018-2020), Vice President (2020-2022), and President (2022-2024) of NAPA.  

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