Almanza named deputy under secretary for food safety at USDA

By Daniel Enoch

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 2014 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has named USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Administrator Al Almanza to a newly created position as deputy undersecretary for food safety.

Almanza will share the job with Brian Ronholm, who has the same title. Ronholm served as acting under secretary for food safety after Under Secretary Elisabeth Hagen resigned late last year. A successor to Almanza at FSIS has not been named. The administration has yet to nominate a candidate as an under secretary for food safety, a position that requires Senate confirmation.

Almanza has been administrator at FSIS since 2007. According to USDA, he began his career with the agency as a food inspector in Texas in 1978.

In a statement to FSIS staff yesterday, Almanza said he has worked closely with Ronholm over the past several years and plans to work “side-by-side” with him in his new position. “I look forward to continuing my career with FSIS in this new capacity."

Ronholm joined USDA in April 2011 as deputy under secretary for food safety. He previously served as an Agriculture Appropriations associate on the staff of Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.

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