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​​Public Policy Board (PPB)

Current PPB Members​​

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The Public Policy Board (PPB), authorized by Council in 1991, provides scientific input to public policy-making processes. It provides advice directly or through the APS president, to different societies, organizations and persons drafting legislative bills. The Board provides drafts of APS comments to APS officers to evaluate and transmit to agencies on issues such as proposed rules and regulations of transgenic plants, safer or alternative pesticides, research funding and administration; and develops position papers in policy areas of relevance to plant pathology. The Board arranges meetings with government agency personnel to become better acquainted with the personalities behind the issues and provide feedback to APS officers. Finally, the Board advocates for increased federal investments APS scientific priorities (e.g. forest health, concerns with inadequate funding of the National Plant Diagnostic Network, gaps in USDA or NSF funding on plant microbiomes, workforce development) in discussions with Congressional and Agency staff.

Organizational Structure

To carry out its responsibilities, the PPB is comprised of the following:

  • A chair (voting)
  • Up to 10 voting Board members, including:
    • 3 members being the APS President, President-Elect, and Vice President (voting members)
  • 2 Early Career Interns ​(includes current graduate students, postdoctoral associates, and junior professionals) for a two-year term, non-voting (with a one-year overlap between incoming and outgoing) with interest in public policy.
  • Ex-officio members (non-voting) including:
    • Director, APS Office of Public Relations and Outreach (OPRO)
    • Subject Matter Expert to ESA
    • APS CEO​ and additional support staff as needed
    • Washington representation (as needed)


APS Council appoints the chair, by recommendation of the Board and the society at-large. The Chair is appointed for a two-year term and may serve two terms consecutively.

Board members will be formally appointed by a majority vote of the Board and will serve a three-year term (voting) but may not serve more than two consecutive terms.

A call for applications will be sought for the ex-officio positions for Early Career Interns and Subject Matter Expert (SME)  to ESA. The Board will appoint the Early Career Intern positions and a subgroup of PPB will review the SME applications and select an applicant to send forward for consideration by EPA. 

General Responsibilities​

The Chair shall appoint an official note taker at each meeting of the PPB. That individual will provide their draft to the Chair to be disseminated, approved, and archived. The PPB will provide reports to Council as requested by the Internal Communications Officer.

General Responsibilities​ of Intern

The PPB Early Career Intern will participate in PPB activities during their two-year term. In the first year of the internship, the intern will be expected to participate in monthly PPB calls and in the preparation of newsletter items and policy white papers. At the end of the internship, the intern will prepare a written and/or oral report on the experience for delivery to PPB and the APS membership. Other activities may include, but are not limited to: meetings to establish the PPB policy agenda-setting; development, tracking, and analysis of policy issues; planning Capitol Hill and agency briefings.

General Responsibilities​ of SME

The SME is an ex-officio non-voting member of the APS Public Policy Board (PPB). During EPA Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP)​ review of regulations and policies, the SME provides scientific expertise on generic scientific issues under consideration. Via contacts with APS committees and individual expert scientists, the SME can improve the ability of EPA staff to make informed, science-based decisions. The SME can also keep the EPA staff informed of significant changes in disease control practices and on newly recognized or invasive plant pathogens. Another critical role is to keep APS membership informed of emerging issues or policies which could affect the ability of U.S. farmers and others to manage plant diseases.

The SME will track and report on their activities to the PPB and participate in PPB meetings and when applicable during PPB visits to Washington, D.C. The position also allows for ample opportunity for collaboration with SME’s who are working at EPA on behalf of APS and our affiliated societies.