WASHINGTON, January 26, 2023 – “It is with mixed emotions that today I am announcing that I will step away from my role as Deputy Secretary in the coming weeks so I can spend more time with my family.
“Serving in the Biden-Harris Administration and having the opportunity to make history alongside Secretary Vilsack has truly been the greatest honor of my professional career. I continue to be in awe of all we have accomplished during these first two years. We are making historic investments in advancing equity and opportunity at USDA and have significantly bolstered food assistance programs to support those most in need. We are helping U.S. agriculture lead the way in climate-smart agriculture, opening more, new and better markets for our producers through trade missions to the UK and East Africa and other partner nations across the world and we are providing new and unprecedented support for underserved producers and rural communities. We launched and I have been honored to co-chair USDA’s first-ever Equity Commission, which will leave a lasting imprint for generations to come.
“To the people we serve, it is important that you know USDA’s commitment to becoming an agency that ensures all Americans have equitable access to USDA programs and services is truly sincere. I am the first one to admit the work to build and maintain trust among all we serve is no easy task. However, I have seen first-hand the intentional work being done each day to set USDA on a new and more inclusive path forward, working in close partnership with you and your local communities. We count on you to hold us accountable, and I know the USDA workforce looks forward to continuing to work alongside you for years to come.
“To the young people and next generation of agriculture leaders that I have had the pleasure of meeting at minority-serving land grant institutions across the country, keep working hard and dreaming big. I know the future of food and agriculture is in good hands.
“And to my staff and the USDA workforce, I will leave USDA in awe of your wisdom and dedication to those we serve. Together, we did the hard and intentional internal work each and every day to make USDA a great place to work for our employees. I look forward to continuing to support all of your work and hope to one day soon continue to pursue my love of agriculture.
“I thank Secretary Vilsack for his support, his thought-partnership, his unwavering commitment to supporting the communities that need it most, and for leading USDA toward fully living up to its moniker as ‘The People’s Department.’ I now look forward to taking some time off to spend more quality time with my mom, husband and four children.”
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