FDA veteran L’Tonya Davis has been picked to be the Agriculture Department’s first permanent chief diversity and inclusion officer. 

Her responsibilities will include overseeing implementation of a strategic plan to improve diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) at the department.

Davis had been serving as director of the Office of Communications and Project Management in FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs. She previously served for 10 years as ORA’s “official DEIA champion,” advising the senior leadership on ways to improve the staff DEIA culture, according to a USDA press release. 

Davis “has demonstrated a strong commitment to hiring and developing a workforce that reflects the rich and diverse tapestry of America and to creating workplaces where everyone can thrive and achieve their full potential,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

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“As part of our commitment to provide equitable services and mission delivery to all, USDA is also focused on its greatest asset – its people. USDA is working to provide equitable service and mission delivery to all, including the dedicated employees who are at the heart of the service we aim to provide.”

Her appointment follows release this week of a set of interim recommendations by USDA's Equity Commission, which Vilsack formed to address longstanding accusations of discrimination in the department's programs.

Leslie Weldon had been serving as USDA’s acting chief diversity and inclusion officer for the past year.  

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