Joe Zublena has been named associate dean for Extension in North Carolina State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service effective immediately.

Zublena, director of county operations for Cooperative Extension, has served as interim director of the organization since the May 1 retirement of past director Jon Ort.

Zublena came to North Carolina State in 1988, as professor and Extension leader for the Soil Science Department, where he was also a specialist in waste management and utilization.

Since then, he has served numerous roles with Cooperative Extension, including associate state program leader for natural resources and community and rural development (1995-96), assistant Extension director and director of county operations (1996-2000), associate Extension director and director of county operations (2000-2010), and interim associate dean and director of Extension, associate Extension director and director of county operations (2010).

Prior to joining the faculty at North Carolina State, Zublena was professor and regional Extension agronomist for corn and sorghum in Clemson University’s Agronomy and Soils Department.

In announcing Zublena’s appointment to the college, Dean Johnny Wynne said, “Please join me in congratulating and thanking Dr. Zublena for his willingness to take on this important position during these challenging times.” A search for associate Extension director of county operations will be conducted within Cooperative Extension.

Zublena and his wife Lise have been married for 32 years. They have two adult children, Ailis and Jonathan.

North Carolina Cooperative Extension partners with communities to deliver edu­cation and technology that enrich the lives, land and economy of North Carolinians. Extension serves citizens of the state’s 100 counties and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, providing edu­cation and technical assistance based on research from North Carolina’s land-grant universities, North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University. Extension special­izes in agriculture, youth, communities, health and the environment by responding to local needs.