Dr. Robert J. Griesbach

Award Year 

Dr. Robert J. Griesbach currently serves as the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) Office of Technology Transfer (OTT), where he facilitates the adoption of ARS scientists’ research, methods and technology, and promotes the development and transfer of new technologies while minimizing constraints on scientific creativity. Dr. Griesbach oversees the Agreements Section of OTT, which is responsible for execution and implementation of intellectual property (IP)-based collaborations, including Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) and Material Research Transfer Agreements (MRTAs). (more)

In fiscal year 2018, Dr. Griesbach oversaw the review and execution of 51 new CRADAs, 63 amendments, and 118 other IP-based collaborative agreements. He also advises on non-IP-based collaborative research agreements that touch on IP-related issues. In accomplishing this goal, he interacts with scientists at 90 USDA locations nationwide and technology transfer professionals located in 5 ARS area offices.

Outside of the office, he served as the FLC Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator for three and a half years. In that capacity, he not only highlighted USDA’s technology transfer, but also coordinated events to showcase all laboratories in the Region. His dedication and hard work led to four regional meetings with record attendance (2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017) and nine Technology Forums on various topics, including Doing Business with the Federal Labs and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR).

To encourage the next generation of the science, engineering, technology, and mathematics (STEM) workforce, Dr. Griesbach regularly serves as a mentor to graduate students, as well as middle and high school students. He has been an instructor at one-day workshops OTT has conducted in high schools, providing genetics instruction and presenting his very popular talk entitled “Thanking USDA for Dinner.” He has represented ARS at the Smithsonian Innovation Festival and provided youngsters with knowledge about career opportunities in ARS while conducting hands-on experiments. He serves as a volunteer judge for science and history fairs in the Washington metropolitan area.

Beyond his scientific achievements, Dr. Griesbach has served as an unofficial historian for the agency and published several peer-reviewed papers on ARS science history. He has also authored a USDA publication on the history of plant introduction and breeding.

Dr. Griesbach exemplifies outstanding service and professionalism. His impact on ARS research, and his enthusiasm for and commitment to encouraging science education are unparalleled. He will leave his mark on generations of scientists and technology transfer professionals to come.

Contact: Dr. Robert Griesbach, (301) 505-6905,