Dr. Fletcher received a B.S. in Biology from Emory University, M.S. in Botany from the University of Montana, and Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Texas A&M. She is internationally recognized for her research on mechanisms of virulence and insect transmission of plant pathogenic bacteria; the relationships between human pathogens, such as Escherichia coli, and plants; and the emerging disciplines of microbial forensics and agricultural biosecurity. She established and served as Director of the National Institute for Microbial Forensics & Food and Agricultural Biosecurity (NIMFFAB), a multidisciplinary OSU initiative that addresses high priority national issues in plant pathogen forensics, crop biosecurity and food safety.
Dr. Fletcher also served on the American Phytopathological Society’s governing Council, including as President. In the months following September 11, 2001, she led APS responses and input to National biosecurity initiatives. She organized and chaired both the APS Microbial Forensics Working Group and the APS Food Safety Working Group. She served as a member of the Forum on Microbial Threats at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and remains active on several federal biosecurity advisory panels including the National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity. Dr. Fletcher was named a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society in 2005 and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2007. After retirement from OSU in late 2015 she now serves as a consultant and advocate for agricultural biosecurity and international scientific diplomacy.