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Kitty Cardwell

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Kitty Cardwell

Director and Professor
Plant pathology, microbiology, biosecurity


  • B.A. University of Texas, Austin, Botany, Cum Laude
  • Ph.D. Texas A&M University Plant Pathology & Microbiology
  • Key Executive Leadership Program, SES CDP, American University, Washington, DC





  • Oklahoma State University, Director and Professor, as of March 15, 2016
  • United States Department of Agriculture, National Program Leader, GS15, Washington, DC, 2001-2016
  • United States Department of Agriculture, Senior Executive Service Development Program, Professional Detail, Senior Advisor, World Bank, 2012-2013
  • International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Research Scientist & Team Leader, Ibadan, Nigeria, 1989-2001


Dr. Kitty Cardwell joined Oklahoma State University March 15th, 2016.  She brings experience in biosecurity program management and expertise in microbial epidemiology. As result of the events of 9/11/01, she developed the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) a functional network of 74 public and private agricultural institutional plant diagnostic clinics.  Under her leadership, the NPDN became a coordinated and cohesive, distributed system that has quickly detected and responded to the introduction of high-consequence pests.  For more information see:  At OSU, Dr. Cardwell conducts research in novel detection technologies and teaches a Spring Special Topic in Quantitative Microbial Forensics.