Work is underway to get those empty seats filled throughout the USDA. On Wednesday Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue applauded President Donald Trump’s declaration of intent to nominate two for Under Secretaries, while naming three individuals to take on other leadership roles in the USDA.
Trump intends to nominate Ted McKinney for Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs (a position the USDA created in May) and Dr. Sam Clovis for Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics.
“For our new under secretary position emphasizing international trade, I have always said that I want someone who wakes up every morning asking how we can sell more American agricultural products in foreign markets,” said Secretary Perdue. “Ted McKinney is that person. His longstanding background in agriculture, economic development, and global issues will make him an unapologetic advocate for U.S. products in the world marketplace.
“Dr. Clovis was one of the first people through the door at USDA in January and has become a trusted advisor and steady hand as we continue to work for the people of agriculture. He looks at every problem with a critical eye, relying on sound science and data, and will be the facilitator and integrator we need. Dr. Clovis has served this nation proudly since he was a very young man, and I am happy he is continuing to serve.”
Secretary Perdue also named three individuals to take on leadership roles within the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS). Brandon Lipps will serve as the Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service, and also as Acting Deputy Under Secretary of FNCS until the Senate confirms a permanent presidentially-nominated appointee. In addition, Maggie Lyons will serve as Chief of Staff and senior advisor to the Under Secretary, while Kailee Tkacz will serve as policy advisor.
“The health and nutrition programs administered by USDA play a tremendous role in the Administration’s efforts to improve education and job readiness. I have no doubt that Brandon, Maggie, and Kailee will help further our mission of feeding the world and making decisions in our nutrition programs that are science-based and data-driven,” Secretary Perdue said. “I welcome Brandon, Maggie, and Kailee to the USDA family and I thank them for their desire to serve this nation.”