Molly Niedbalski Cline
Molly Niedbalski Cline is a native of Dunkirk, NY. She was awarded her B.A. in Spanish and biology, cum laude, at Kalamazoo College, MI, and her M.S. (1978) and Ph.D. (1980) degrees in plant pathology from the University of Illinois, Champaign- Urbana. She began her professional career as an extension associate in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Illinois with responsibilities in the diagnosis of corn, soybean, ornamental, and turf diseases. There she developed a screening technique for soybean white mold, investigated Botrytis leaf blight of geranium during storage and shipment, and conducted pesticide-applicator training programs. She discovered and named a new fungal genus and species– Grovesinia pyramidalis. In 1983, Dr. Cline joined Mallinckrodt Inc. as a senior research horticulturist, where she developed fungicide and insecticide products for use in nursery and greenhouse crops. She contributed numerous articles for popular and refereed publications on foliar and root rot diseases of ornamentals.
When she joined Monsanto in 1987, Dr. Cline served as a turf specialist in the field product development group. That role led to several management positions for the consumer products division, through which she helped bring several new lawn and garden products to market. Her responsibilities included managing technology and environmental issues, along with the consumer hotline for Monsanto’s Roundup and Greensweep consumer products. She was a spokesperson on pesticide safety and chair of the packaging task force for Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment.
Through a diverse career path, she spent the past 20 years helping new technology evolve from scientific theory into new products and bringing those products to the people who used them. For the past 7 years in her role as director of food industry relations, Dr. Cline has focused on building agricultural biotechnology acceptance in food and feed marketing chain domestically and internationally, focusing on glyphosate-tolerant soybeans. A large part of that responsibility has involved assisting numerous trade groups and associations build capacity for biotechnology outreach programs.
Dr. Cline lends her talents to various scientific and trade organizations. She serves on the executive committee of the American Soybean Industry Council; on the Board of Directors and the Biotechnology Committee of the International Food Information Council; as a member of the Food and Feed Safety Committee of the National Grain and Feed Association; is on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the American Feed Industry Association; and is co-chair of the Council for Biotechnology Information’s Food Industry Outreach team. She is frequently invited to speak at domestic and international grain and food trade group conferences and meetings.
Dr. Cline has played a particularly active role for the past 20 years in the APS, holding the offices of council-at-large, chairwoman of the councilor’s forum, and secretary during her tenure. She has served as the chair for many of the APS committees including Public Relations, Diseases of Ornamentals and Turfgrasses, Illustrations of Plant Pathogens and Diseases, the Committee on Committees, Public Responsibilities, and Sustaining Associates. She currently is a board member of the Office of Public Affairs and Education (OPAE), a member of the Industry Advisory Council, chair of the Sustaining Associates Committee, and recently completed a 3-year term as a director of the APS Foundation.
Dr. Cline’s professional honors include the Whetzel-Westcot- Dimock Distinguished Lecturer in Plant Pathology, Cornell University (1998); Domestic Marketing Award from the United Soybean Board (1995); and the Monsanto YMCA Leadership Award (1989 and 1991). While her career has taken her down many paths, her mission over the years has remained clear: to share, promote, and communicate the value that agriculture brings to all potential users. She played an instrumental role in developing new, technology-based products that enhance the lives of consumers. She ardently supports contributions to Healthy Plants, Healthy World, an organization (APS) committed to helping meet the increased global food demands of the next century.
Dr. Cline lives in St. Louis with her husband Steven and two children, and she voluntarily contributes to the community in many ways.