The Risk Management Agency’s new administrator, South Dakota farmer Marcia Bunger, comes to RMA after 25 years of experience with USDA's Farm Service Agency, the department said Monday in announcing three high-level appointments.

The other two appointees are Shefali Mehta, who was named deputy undersecretary for research, education, and economics, and Colin Finan, who will be senior adviser at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Bunger was a county executive director in South Dakota for 18 years, during which time she “worked closely with Pine Ridge Tribal Government leaders and personnel to administer FSA programs on the second-largest land-based Indian Reservation in the U.S.,” USDA said.

She also served 15 years on the South Dakota Advisory Council to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and held positions at Farm Credit Services of America, including crop insurance specialist and crop insurance officer. She is treasurer of the South Dakota Democratic Party.

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“Recently, she founded an agriculture consulting limited liability company providing assistance to area farmers and ranchers and to work with a local crop insurance agency selling and servicing crop insurance policies,” USDA said. “Bunger is also the owner and operator of a 2,000-acre, family-owned farm.”

Bunger “will be the first person who is a member of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and the first woman to serve as administrator for RMA,” the department said. 

Finan has been vice president at McCabe Message Partners, a Washington, D.C.-based public relations firm focused on healthcare communications. Before that, he was a manager and senior associate on the Safe Food Project at Pew Charitable Trusts.