Come the new year, the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) will have a new leader at its helm: Maureen Wilmot, the organization's current deputy director. The OFRF board announced Nov. 22 that it unanimously selected Wilmot to take over as executive director of the organization when Bob Scowcroft, OFRF co-founder and current executive director, retires on Jan. 1.Maureen Wilmot

"A large part of the executive director job is managing and fundraising, and Maureen has experience and excels in those arenas," OFRF Board President Deirdre Birmingham told NewHope360.com. Founded in 1990 by Scowcroft and a group of organic farmers, OFRF's mission is to foster the improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming in the United States. The group does this by sponsoring organic farming research and education projects and working to help shape organic-friendly agricultural policies.

Wilmot, who is a trained biologist with a background in policy development, non-profit management and community activism, joined OFRF in February 2009 as the organization's deputy director. After Scowcroft announced his retirement earlier this year, the group's board conducted a nationwide search for his replacement. "We didn't hire Maureen as our deputy director thinking she would replace Bob," Birmingham said. "We conducted a very thorough search, and she rose to the top of the candidates."

During her nearly two years as OFRF's deputy director, Wilmot guided the organization through a strategic planning process, identifying organizational priorities and fostering a team approach that involved the board of directors and the staff, Birmingham added. "We are very confident in our decision to name Maureen to this position."