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Executive Leadership

Andre-Denis Wright

André-Denis Wright


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Dr. Wright began his tenure as Dean of CAHNRS in June 2018. He comes to WSU from the University of Arizona, where he was an endowed Professor and Director of the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences. Before joining the faculty at UA, he served as Chair of the Department of Animal Science at the University of Vermont, and Director of the Vermont Dairy Center of Excellence.

For nearly two decades, Dr. Wright has been developing strategies to increase the efficiency of nutrient utilization in livestock and to raise the level of production of food in an ecologically sustainable way (i.e., decrease enteric methane). Several years ago, his research interests expanded to also include human gut microbiology. Dr. Wright’s internationally recognized research uses next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics to examine the gut microbiome of animals, including humans, to better understand the interactions between host genetics and immune responses with their gut microbiota.

Dr. Wright received his Ph.D. from the University of Guelph in Canada and holds several professional accreditations, including Member of the American College of Gastroenterology. He has published 110 peer-reviewed papers, contributed 18 book chapters, presented 100 conference papers, and delivered 34 plenary lectures in 10 countries. Dr. Wright currently serves on several national boards and has served on review panels for the USDA, NSF, and NASA. He has also served as an external scientific reviewer for the governments of Canada, Russia, Kazakhstan, Scotland, and Switzerland, and in 2008, he had a ciliated protozoan named after him, Apokeronopsis wrightii, in recognition of his contributions to microbiology.



Associate Dean and Director, WSU Extension

Scot Hulbert

Scot Hulbert

Associate Dean for Research & Interim Agricultural Research Center Director

Dr. Scot Hulbert has been the Cook Endowed Chair in the Department of Plant Pathology since 2006, and, in 2018, he was named Interim Associate Dean for Research and Interim Agricultural Research Center Director. In his new roles, he’ll supervise the research being done in Pullman, as well as in CAHNRS research centers and field stations across the state.

Dr. Hulbert received a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from WSU and completed a Master’s and Ph.D. at the University of California-Davis. Before coming to WSU as endowed chair, Hulbert worked, taught and held leadership roles at Purdue University and Kansas State University. In 2002, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Society of Phytopathology, and in 2005, as a Fellow of the American Society for the Advancement of Science.

For the past 12 years, Dr. Hulbert has worked alongside fellow CAHNRS scientists to find solutions to global and local threats facing farms, food, and the environment. As Interim Director of the Agricultural Research Center, Dr. Hulbert will preside over one of the leading drivers of research at WSU. CAHNRS and the Agricultural Research Center contribute more than 40 percent of the University’s extramural funding budget–$83 million in 2016.

Rich Zack

Associate Dean for Academic Programs

Dr. Rich Zack comes from the Department of Entomology at Washington State University where he serves as a professor and curator of the M. T. James Entomological Collection. Dr. Zack received his PhD degree in Entomology from WSU. Dr. Zack has taught numerous courses at WSU, but most of his efforts have been directed toward undergraduate, University Common Requirements (UCORE) courses designed for non-science students.

Dr. Zack’s research interests include insect taxonomy and systematics, biological diversity, and pest management. He is interested in “rare” and unusual environments such as Palouse Prairie remnants, as well as habitats provided by the national parks and federal reserves. He has conducted extensive studies on the insects of the Hanford Nuclear Site, and his studies were instrumental in the naming of parts of the Site as a national monument. He also has ongoing biological diversity and invasive species studies in Guatemala and Micronesia.

Dr. Zack has received numerous recognitions and awards including distinguished teaching awards from CAHNRS, the University, and his professional society. He was also named one of the Top Five Instructors as WSU as chosen by the students. Dr. Zack is very involved in outreach activities designed for K-12 students.

Naidu Rayapati

Naidu Rayapati

Assistant Dean for CAHNRS, WSU Tri-Cities
Director, Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center

A professor of plant pathology at Washington State University, Dr. Naidu Rayapati is director of WSU’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (IAREC) at Prosser, Wash., and Assistant Dean of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) for WSU Tri-Cities. He provides leadership for advancing the land-grant mission of IAREC and collaborates with Tri-Cities campus administration to expand the strategic goals of CAHNRS.

After receiving his doctorate in plant virology from Sri Venkateswara University in India, Dr. Rayapati worked across many countries in Asia and Africa, contributing to crop improvements that fight viral diseases in subsistence agriculture. He is a member of cross-disciplinary, multi institutional collaborative teams contributing to USAID’s Feed the Future programs, advancing America’s global hunger and food security initiatives. Rayapati received the International Service Award in 2007 from the American Phytopathological Society, and the IPM Team Excellence Award at the 6th IPM International Symposium in 2009 for his superior contributions in plant pathology.

As a faculty member, Dr. Rayapati has established an internationally recognized grape virology program at WSU. He conducts a mix of fundamental and applied research to develop practical solutions for managing viral diseases in Washington vineyards. Rayapati’s Extension and outreach efforts have increased awareness of virus diseases and their management, as well as the vital necessity of using clean plant materials for healthy vineyards. He teaches a highly popular undergraduate course, “Diseases of Fruit Crops,” and provides experiential education opportunities for undergraduate students in WSU’s Viticulture & Enology program.