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Corteva Agriscience’s Krysta Harden to Receive 2018 Rosalind Franklin Award

June 21, 2018

Washington, D.C. (June 21, 2018) – The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) today announced that Corteva AgriscienceTM Vice President of External Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer Krysta Harden will receive the 5th annual Rosalind Franklin Award for Leadership in Industrial Biotechnology and Agriculture. Corteva Agriscience™ is the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. The award will be presented on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 during a plenary session at the 2018 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology. The world’s largest conference on industrial biotechnology and partnering event will be held July 16-19, 2018, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

“I am humbled to receive such a prestigious award,” said Krysta Harden. “As an advocate for both biotechnology and women in science, it is an honor to receive the Rosalind Franklin award. Women leaders continue to play an increasingly pivotal role in science fields. From the farm to the lab to the boardroom, there are many possibilities for women in science and we must continue to open doors for them.”

“Krysta Harden has been, and continues to be, a tireless advocate for bringing new technology and innovation to industrial biotechnology and agriculture to build a robust biobased economy,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section. “Moreover, she is a passionate leader in encouraging women to seek careers in these burgeoning sectors. Krysta was a leader when she worked in Congress and in the federal government and she continues to be a leader in the private sector. The combination of her advocacy in biotechnology innovation and promotion of women in the field makes her the perfect recipient for an award that aims to honor the distinguished women that work in science.”

The award is sponsored by the Rosalind Franklin Society, whose goal is to support and showcase the careers of eminent women in science.

“Rosalind Franklin’s contribution to the discovery of DNA’s structure, and thus the advancement of science, is an inspiration to countless women working in science. From her time in public service to her current role, Krysta Harden has exemplified the leadership role women can have in the agriculture industry while advocating for opportunities for other women and often-marginalized groups,” said Rita R. Colwill, PhD, President of the Rosalind Franklin Society and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland College Park and John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

In 1952, while working as a research associate at King’s College in London, Rosalind Franklin conceived and captured Photograph 51 of the "B" form of DNA. This photograph, acquired through 100 hours of X-ray exposure from a machine Dr. Franklin herself refined, revealed the structure of DNA. The discovery was the single most important advance of modern biology. James Watson and Francis Crick, working at Cambridge University, used Photograph 51 as the basis for their famous model of DNA, which earned them a Nobel Prize in 1962. Though sometimes overlooked, Rosalind Franklin’s critical work and discovery in the field has allowed the biotechnology industry to become what it is today.

Krysta Harden is currently Vice President of External Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer at Corteva Agriscience™, leading the company’s public policy and government affairs strategies, in addition to its sustainability, philanthropy, product stewardship and global regulatory activities. Prior to joining Corteva Agriscience, Krysta Harden served as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), where she helped to shape food and agriculture policy and expand opportunities for women, young people, immigrants, socially disadvantaged producers, returning veterans and retirees. Krysta Harden founded USDA’s Women in Agriculture Mentoring Network, which supports and engages women across all areas of agriculture and fosters professional partnerships between women with shared goals. Krysta serves on the Board of Trustees for the National 4-H Council and the Board of Directors for the Global Child Nutrition Foundation. 

Krysta Harden is the 5th recipient honored with the annual Rosalind Franklin Award; past recipients include:

  • Vonnie Estes, Independent Consultant, in 2017
  • Anna Rath, President and CEO of NextSteppe, in 2016
  • Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech, in 2015
  • Dr. Debbie Yavers, Director of Expression Technology, Genomics and Bioinformatics at Novozymes, in 2014

All programs for the 2018 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology are open to members of the media. Complimentary media registration is available to editors and reporters working full time for print, broadcast or web publications with valid press credentials.

For more information on the conference, please visit For assistance, please contact

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