New ERS Administrator Named
On August 31, 2020, Deputy Undersecretary for Research, Education, Economics Dr. Scott Hutchins announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) named Dr. Spiro Stefanou as the new administrator of the Economic Research Service (ERS).
The mission of USDA's ERS is to anticipate trends and emerging issues in agriculture, food, the environment, and rural America and to conduct high-quality, objective economic research to inform and enhance public and private decision making. ERS develops its research program and products to serve those who routinely make or influence public policy and program decisions, such as White House and USDA policy officials, the U.S. Congress, program administrators/managers, other Federal agencies, State and local government officials, and organizations, including farm and industry groups. ERS research provides context for and informs the decisions that affect the agricultural sector.
Dr. Stefanou served as a Professor of Economics at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agriculture for over five years. He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of California, Davis, M.S. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Maryland, and a B.A. in Anthropology from George Washington University. Dr. Stefanou is an expert in the Agricultural Economics areas of production analysis, innovation, growth, and performance, agricultural and food industries, and the dynamics of economic adjustment.
Before working at the University of Florida, Dr. Stefanou was a Professor of Agricultural Economics at Penn State University for more than 30 years. He is also a Distinguished Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and was a Marie Curie Senior Fellow at the University of Crete (Rethymnon, Greece), Mansholt Senior Fellow at Wageningen University (Netherlands), and Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute (Florence, Italy). He has been a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies (Vienna, Austria), and the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute (at Chania). Dr. Stefanou has served on the editorial boards of six national and international journals and is presently the Managing Editor of Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy in addition to being past editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics.
“We look forward to adding Dr. Stefanou’s more than 30 years of leadership and expertise in agricultural economics as we usher in a new era for ERS. Under his leadership, ERS will thrive as a world-class economic powerhouse and will continue to build and deliver scientifically-sound economic data and research to help shape U.S. agricultural policy and to better serve our customers and stakeholders across the nation,” said Deputy Under Secretary Scott Hutchins, in a press release.