Dr. Surajit Kumar De Datta
Retired Associate Vice President for International Affairs and Director of the Office of International Research, Education, and Development
Expertise: Agricultural Sciences, Natural Resources Management, Administration
Education: B.S., Agriculture, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India, 1956; M.S, Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India, 1958; Ph.D., Soil Science, University of Hawaii, 1962.
Experience Summary: Dr. S.K. De Datta served as both the Associate Vice President for International Affairs and Director of the Office of International Research, Education and Development (OIRED) at Virginia Tech. As the Director of OIRED, Dr. De Datta managed a portfolio of more than $64 million in donor-funded grants, most of which come from USAID. The programs sponsored by these grants improve lives in developing countries by promoting economic development, sustainable natural resource management, and gender equity.
Prior to his arrival at Virginia Tech in 1991, Dr. De Datta served as an agronomist and principal scientist at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines for 27 years. During that time, Dr. De Datta’s research in rice production contributed to the green revolution that helped Southeast Asia gain agricultural self-sufficiency.
Dr. De Datta has received many awards over his long career. He has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America, Crop Science Society of America, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences in India, and Indian Society of Soil Science. In addition, he received the Norman Borlaug Award for Outstanding Contribution to Agricultural Sciences and the Green Revolution in India as well as a presidential citation from the president of the Philippines in recognition of his outstanding contributions to agricultural productivity in the region.
Dr. De Datta has advised a total of 77 master’s and Ph.D. students in his career. He has published 366 journal articles, technical bulletins, and other reports in the areas of soil science, soil and crop management, and weed science. He has served on numerous boards, societies, and committees.
Dr. De Datta’s current passion is assisting Virginia Tech in its mission of becoming a truly international university.