News 208 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Merrigan to be named US deputy ag secretary

The US president Barack Obama has announced his intention to nominate Kathleen A. Merrigan to be deputy secretary of agriculture.

"We at the US Department of Agriculture welcome the president's intention to nominate Dr Merrigan," said secretary Tom Vilsack. "She will bring to USDA extensive expertise in agricultural marketing and nutrition and in legislative affairs and will provide excellent, experienced leadership as we move President Obama's agricultural and nutritional agenda forward."

Merrigan currently is an assistant professor and Director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment M.S. and PhD Program at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, Boston, USA. In 1999, she was appointed administrator of USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service by then-president Clinton. Prior to that, Merrigan was a senior analyst at the Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture and an expert consultant at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome.

Organic foods production act
From 1987 to 1992 she was a staff member on the US Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry where she helped develop the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 which mandated national organic standards and a program of federal accreditation. Merrigan holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in environmental planning and policy, a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas and a BA from Williams College.

Related website:
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

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