Hipple Named Director of Iowa State University Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods

Patricia Hipple photo
Patricia Hipple

AMES, Iowa — A national program leader with the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been named the new director of the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods at Iowa State University.

Patricia Hipple starts her new duties on Dec. 8. She has worked at the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), where she served since 2002 as the national program leader for sustainable farm enterprises. In that position, Hipple managed a nationwide portfolio of research, education, outreach and extension activities related to sustainable farming, agriculture and food security, and rural development.

For the past decade, the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has worked together with farmers and communities in rural Uganda to address hunger and poverty through agriculture, education and service. As a result, the lives of more than 1,200 families and more than 10,000 people have been impacted through dramatic improvements to food security, economic stability, nutrition, child welfare, safe water, health, sanitation and education. Many Iowa State faculty, staff and students have been involved in the center’s educational, research and service learning activities. The center is supported primarily by donors.

“With her experience and expertise, Dr. Hipple is uniquely qualified to take on the leadership of this unique center,” said David Acker, associate dean for academic and global programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “We look forward to her efforts to enhance the center’s work, which serves as a model for other parts of the world in how to work together to combat hunger.”

Hipple succeeds Mark Westgate, a professor of agronomy who served as the center’s director for the past five years. Westgate is returning to the agronomy department faculty.

Hipple previously worked for the State of Iowa, City of Des Moines and Iowa State. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology from the University of Northern Iowa in 1975 and 1988, and earned a doctorate in sociology in 1998 at Iowa State.