Val Dolcini, a former Farm Service Agency administrator and California environmental official, plans to join Syngenta’s Washington office, starting Aug. 2. He will serve as Head of Business Sustainability and Government Affairs for North America and will be based in Washington, D.C.
In an interview with Agri-Pulse, Dolcini said his new role will enable him to "be a conduit between government agencies, the folks on the Syngenta side and farmers as well ... our innovators in both in the company and externally, and really be a bridge."
"We're starting with a real advantage in that Syngenta is interested in finding that common ground to advance ag technologies that will help keep our farmers as the most productive and profitable in the world, while also working hard to protect the environment.
Syngenta is one of the world's largest crop protection and seed companies.
Dolcini resigned earlier this month as the director of California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation and said he planned to return to Washington. In 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom created the position of deputy secretary for agriculture at CalEPA, a position Dolcini held for six months before moving to the state’s DPR. Dolcini also held other positions in California, throughout the state and federal government.
While at DPR, Dolcini had made it a personal goal to establish a new statewide pesticide notification system to alert residents ahead of applications. Dolcini also led the charge on setting new limits on the use of the fumigant 1,3-D, known as Telone, and for reviewing a set of controversial neonicotinoids to add further restrictions. Dolcini championed "sustainable pest management," a phrase he coined to describe the administration's goal of slashing the use of pesticides that are more toxic to human health while also reducing environmental impacts from applications, which gathered strong support from anti-pesticide and organic farm groups.
Prior to his time in California government, Dolcini held several roles in USDA’s Farm Service Agency during the Obama administration. He became administrator in 2014 after serving in an acting capacity, as well as the state FSA director in California.
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In between his federal and state government roles, he headed up the Pollinator Partnership, a nonprofit group dedicated to protecting native and managed pollinators. Dolcini has also worked for Fortune 500 companies, helping to develop policy and business strategies in the state and local government marketplace. He has a Juris Doctor from the Golden Gate University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the San Francisco State University.
Dolcini described his new position as a "wonderful opportunity to leverage all the experiences that I've had over the years, whether it's DPR, or USDA, or my time with the Pollinator Partnership, and to work for a company that is a global leader on sustainability issues."
Brad Hooker contributed to this article.
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