NSAC's Blog

New Appointments at USDA

August 2, 2013

Last night, the Senate confirmed Krysta Harden as the new Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Robert Bonnie as the new USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment.

Harden previously served as Chief of Staff to Secretary Tom Vilsack and previously held posts with the National Association of Conservation Districts, the American Soybean Association, and the House Agriculture Committee, among others.  Earlier, NSAC organized a letter of support for her nomination.

Bonnie has been Vilsack’s Senior Environment and Climate Adviser, and previously directed the Center for Conservation Incentives at Environmental Defense Fund.  NSAC earlier signed a farm and conservation group letter in support of his nomination.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service now also officially has its new Chief.  Jason Weller has been serving as Acting Chief since former Chief Dave White’s departure in December, but has now been given the job for real.  Weller served as White’s Chief of Staff and has previously worked for the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, the House Budget Committee, and the White House Office of Management and Budget.

As of the beginning of July, USDA’s Rural Business and Cooperative Services also has a new Administrator.  Lillian Salerno had been Acting Administrator since last September and had previously served as a Special Assistant in the Rural Housing Service at USDA.  Salerno hails from rural Texas where she started Retractable Technologies, Inc.  She has also served as president of the Geneva-based International Association of Safe Injection Technology.

Back in May, Anne Alonzo became the new Administrator for the Agricultural Marketing Service.  Previously the Vice President for Global Public Policy at Kraft Foods, she was also the first woman to lead the World Cocoa Foundation, a non-profit organization promoting a sustainable cocoa economy.  Alonzo was also in the public sector previously, serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the International Trade Administration at the Commerce Department.

Additional second term appointments at USDA are expected to be announced in August and September.

Categories: General Interest

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