Michelle Bjerkness

USWBSI Director of Operations
305 Stakman Hall

304 Stakman Hall 1991 Upper Buford Circle
St Paul, MN 55108
United States

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The majority of my career has been focused on supporting scientific disciplines, where I've worked collaboratively with passionate researchers and leaders in academia, government and industry on innovative efforts that provide an opportunity to create positive change. Supporting the operational success and effectiveness of the U.S. Wheat & Barley Scab Initiative, as Director of Operations, is an incredible opportunity to build on my long-term commitment to supporting agricultural research and extension initiatives.


I earned my BA in Business Administration and English Writing from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and my MA in Organizational Management from Concordia University in St. Paul.

As Director of Operations for the American Phytopathological Society (APS), and the Cereals & Grains Association (formerly AACCI), both owners of the Scientific Societies, and the International Society of Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (IS-MPMI), my responsibilities were focused on enhancing operational capacity, stewarding strategic planning efforts, organizing educational meetings, amplifying impactful communications, and fostering meaningful relationships. Throughout my career, I've valued working collaboratively with motivated and engaged volunteers, boards of directors, partners, students and the staff to effectively align actions with organizational priorities.

Following my role at Scientific Societies, I most recently held an Executive Director position at Management HQ, and I served as the Senior Vice President of Operations at Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest.

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family hiking and camping as I search for wild flowers in the National Parks or on any of the local trail systems is where I recharge. We actually have a family goal to visit every National Park, and spent several days hiking the Superior Hiking Trail this past summer. I also love flower gardening and old houses, and had a chance to learn about the history of my 1930s Minneapolis Tudor recently.