57.9 F

Ecological Engineer Tapped as DRI Interim President



Kumud Acharya, whose work in Nevada has helped water managers address aquatic invasive species threatening Lake Mead and Lake Tahoe, has been named interim president at Desert Research Institute.

Acharya began at at DRI in 2006 as an assistant research professor and had been serving as interim vice president for research. He is credited for bringing in more than $18 million in external research grants and contracts.

Kumud Acharya, DRI.

Previously Acharya served as a senior director of DRI’s former Center for Environmental Remediation and Monitoring and as chief technology advisor for Water Start.

Prior to joining DRI, Acharya collectively served five years as a postdoctoral and research fellow at Arizona State University and the University of Louisville.

The Board of Regents approved Acharya’s 2-year contract last week. According to Nevada System of Higher Education’s code, the board can consider an interim president as permanent president after a year. It can also conduct a search for a permanent president, although NSHE indicated there are no immediate plans to do so.

“Kumud is a highly respected scientist and long-time leader at DRI and it was clear after meeting with his colleagues and institute community that he is well respected and admired. I am confident he is the right person to lead DRI at this time,” Thom Reilly, NSHE chancellor, said in a statement.

Acharya said he was honored to be named interim president.

“I am truly humbled by the trust and confidence that DRI faculty and staff, the chancellor, and the Board of Regents have expressed in my ability to lead this incredible institution,” Acharya said in a statement. “Science is more important than ever as Nevada and our planet face growing environmental challenges, and I look forward to what the future holds for DRI.”

He replaces Kristen Averyt, who resigned this summer after two years on the job.

Carla O'Day
Carla O'Day
Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.