New Biden Appointees Take Office
Within the last month, the Biden Administration has announced numerous appointees relating to health, agriculture, and research. Vivek Murthy was confirmed by the Senate and will serve as US Surgeon General. Murthy previously served as Surgeon General under the Obama Administration.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) swore in Michael S. Regan as Administrator. Regan is the first black man and second person of color to lead the EPA. "I'm grateful to President Biden for entrusting me to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at this critical moment in our country's history," said Administrator Michael Regan. "EPA's career officials are the backbone of this agency, and I am humbled to work alongside them as we confront climate change, stand up for justice and equity, and ensure science is at the heart of our decision-making. We will prove that environmental protection and economic prosperity go hand in hand - and we will seize this opportunity to create a healthier, more just future for all." Regan previously served as the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.
United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack also announced the nomination of Janie Simms Hipp to serve as the USDA General Counsel. Hipp is a member of the Chickasaw Nation and previously was Vilsack’s senior advisor for tribal affairs and director of the Office of Tribal Relations during the Obama Administration. “If confirmed, Janie will join a senior leadership team committed to ensuring the fair and equitable implementation of all USDA programs in service to the American people,” Vilsack stated. “Her skills and knowledge will contribute to removing barriers to access wherever they exist, building a fairer and more just food system, and helping to build a stronger, more resilient rural America.”
Oscar Gonzales was appointed by President Biden to serve as Assistant Secretary for Administration at the USDA. Gonzales served in the Obama Administration in several senior positions with USDA, including as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration as well as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Senior Advisor on Immigration Reform to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “With Oscar’s leadership and a team that reflects the diversity of our nation behind him, USDA is committed to ensuring equity across the Department, rooting out systemic racism and discrimination, and removing barriers to access to USDA programs,” said Vilsack.
USDA key staff positions were also announced. Sandra Eskin was named Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety. “Sandra’s deep experience in food safety will strengthen USDA’s dedication to ensuring a safe, secure food supply for consumers and help to protect the safety of federal meat inspectors and workers throughout the food chain,” said Vilsack.
Jeremy Adamson was named Policy Advisor for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs in the Foreign Agricultural Service. Adamson served as the Portfolio Manager for Certis USA. Previously, he held roles in account management and market development with Corteva Agrisciences and worked as a Crop Consultant and Plant Health and Nutrition Specialist with Nutrien. Edyael Casaperalta was named Senior Policy Advisor for the Rural Utilities Services agency and Eyang Garrison was named Chief of Staff in the Office of the Deputy Secretary. “We are honored to have professionals of the caliber of Eyang, Jeremy, and Edyael join our team,” said Vilsack.