Sec. Vilsack names new Deputy for Rural Development

By Agri-Pulse staff

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WASHINGTON, July 28 - Victor Vasquez will retire as USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development, effective July 29, and Doug O'Brien will take his place, effective Aug. 1, a USDA spokesperson announced.

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“Since his initial appointment in 2009 as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary, Doug has shown great leadership and insight on policy issues affecting rural economic and community development.   His service at USDA has also included roles as Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development, and Senior Advisor to Secretary Vilsack,” USDA explained in a statement.


O'Brien, who was raised on a diversified farm in Iowa, has dedicated his career to agriculture and rural policy.  Prior to joining USDA, he served as the Assistant Director at the Ohio Department of Agriculture and previously served as senior advisor to Governor Chet Culver (IA); interim co-director for the National Agricultural Law Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas; Senior Staff Attorney at the Drake Agricultural Law Center in Des Moines, Iowa; and clerk for Justice Jerry Larson of the Iowa Supreme Court. Doug has also served as counsel for the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee and legislative assistant for Congressman Leonard Boswell. 


Vasquez, who was appointed in 2009, previously served as Assistant to the Governor for Intergovernmental and Community Relations in Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts' Administration, and directed the Oregon Community Services Department. He also served on the boards of the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, the University of Oregon Alumni Council, and on the Executive Alumni Council for the John F. Kennedy School of Government.  Victor is a former migrant worker who now holds a Master's degree in public administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from the University of Oregon. 



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