Anne Hazlett is joining the White House after about a year and a half with the Department of Agriculture to head up the Office of National Drug Control Policy's rural affairs.
Since June of 2017, Hazlett has served as the assistant to the secretary for rural development at USDA. According to a release, Hazlett’s role at ONDCP will help create policy focused on improving the quality of life in rural America. Her role will have her coordinate interagency efforts on drug control that impact rural communities and implement strategies centered around prevention, treatment, and recovery.
“Anne has a critical understanding of the unique challenges facing these communities and is committed to helping them reverse the effects of the opioid epidemic," ONDCP Director Jim Carroll said. "We are looking forward to her joining our team as we build a stronger, healthier, drug-free society today and in the years to come.”
During her time at USDA, Hazlett focused on President Donald Trump’s goal to address opioid misuse in rural America. Hazlett led USDA’s efforts to build infrastructure for prevention, treatment and recovery, facilitate partnerships, and drive innovation in rural communities.
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue said Hazlett is "perfectly suited" for her new role, and White House Senior Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway called Hazlett "an incredibly active and effective member of the opioids cabinet" during her time at USDA.
Perdue named Joel Baxley, current administrator of the Rural Housing Service, the acting assistant to the secretary for rural development. In the meantime, the administration is searching for a candidate to serve as USDA's Undersecretary for Rural Development. Hazlett served in an assistant to the secretary role after Perdue's reorganization efforts, but the 2018 farm bill calls on the department to reestablish the undersecretary position.
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