Faviola Barbosa
Faviola Barbosa

The Washington Apple Education Foundation announced in a news release the hiring of Faviola Barbosa as its new executive director. Barbosa began her role with WAEF on Feb. 1.

“On behalf of the WAEF board of directors, I am thrilled to welcome Faviola Barbosa as the new executive director of WAEF,” Laurie Knebusch, WAEF chairman, said in the release. “When the selection committee met Faviola and learned about her deep ties in the tree fruit industry, paired with her career background working in education, we knew we had found WAEF’s next executive director.” Knebusch led the search committee process that began in mid-October.

According to the release, Barbosa worked within the Washington State Community and Technical Colleges system for more than 18 years, and her passion has been to promote higher education to students, starting at an early age.

“I am so excited about the opportunity to promote access and support to students from the tree fruit industry pursuing higher education,” Barbosa said in the release. “I look forward to working with such an amazing team and industry, continuing to strengthen the WAEF mission.”

Barbosa, who immigrated to the United States from Mexico with her family when she was two years old, grew up within the agricultural industry in Orondo, Washington. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Washington State University, a master’s degree in college student affairs from Nova Southeastern University and a doctorate in leadership in higher education from Capella University.

Barbosa is the fourth executive director in the foundation’s 28-year history. She follows outgoing executive director Jennifer Witherbee who served in the position for more than 20 years. Witherbee will remain on staff at WAEF in a support role for a few weeks to assist with the transition.

by Jonelle Mejica