As Associate Dean of Research, Dr. Teutonico leads the CASE RD office and directs all areas of expertise provided by the office. Dr. Teutonico has a PhD in molecular biology and quantitative genetics and spent 10 years as science advisor at the National Science Foundation leading cross-Foundation initiatives, particularly those focused on sustainability science and the integration of the social and natural sciences.
Dr. Rita Teutonico joined FIU in 2014. She has served as associate executive director of the School of Environment, Arts and Society and most recently as director of strategic research initiatives for CASE. While at FIU, she has been instrumental in the submission of numerous, interdisciplinary, multi-investigator proposals and the successful awarding of many, including a $5M, NSF-funded Center of Excellence award.
Prior to joining FIU, she was director of research development for the Office of Research and Graduate Studies at Utah State University (USU). She was also co-investigator for Utah's inaugural NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement $20M, five-year award and directed all of the education, outreach, and communications programs across 16 universities. She served as the State's EPSCoR director and coordinated the NSF, NASA, DOE, and USDA EPSCoR activities statewide. Before joining USU, Dr. Teutonico worked at the National Science Foundation for 10 years. She held many senior level positions, including senior science advisor for integrative activities in the Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences; deputy director for the Divisions of Social & Economic Sciences and Molecular & Cellular Biosciences; and program director for the Genes and Genome Systems Cluster. Dr. Teutonico chaired the NSF-wide Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability Group which established and coordinated NSF's portfolio of sustainability science and engineering activities, with an initial investment of over $600M. Prior to this role, she coordinated NSF-wide activities in the Climate Research Investment area and the Human & Social Dynamics priority area. She was particularly active in other interdisciplinary cross-NSF initiatives, such as the Integrative Graduate Education & Research Traineeships (now NRT), Partnerships in International Research & Education, Cyber-enabled Discovery & Innovation, and the Decision Making Under Uncertainty Centers. She has been active in many cross-agency working groups, most notably chairing a task group on research needs for agricultural biotechnology risk analysis for the Office of Science & Technology Policy.
Prior to her service at NSF, Dr. Teutonico was an Associate Professor in the Integrated Science & Technology Program, Biotechnology Concentration, at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia. In addition to developing new active learning curriculum for this interdisciplinary program, she mentored over 30 undergraduate student research projects related to biotechnology research and developed an international research experience for undergraduates on the island of Malta. Her research experience also includes a postdoctoral position at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she studied the molecular genetics of stress tolerances in crop plants, such as canola. In addition, Dr. Teutonico has experience in private industry, both as vice President of research services for a consulting firm specializing in market research for high-technology industries and as research associate for an agricultural biotechnology firm.
She is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Organization of Research Development Professionals.
Dr. Teutonico received the NSF Director's Awards for Collaborative Integration in 2012, 2010 and 2008 and for Management Excellence in 2009.