LONDON – Elizabeth Truss, a member of the Conservative Party representing South West Norfolk, was appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Before her appointment, Truss served as Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Education. However, farming interests have a strong presence in her constituency and she has voiced her views on farming and food.
Truss has been a strong supporter of badger culls as part of a government plan to eradicate bovine TB. She also has raised concerns about winter flooding in her constituency. Truss wrote to her predecessor, Owen Paterson, asking him to review the cost/benefit ratio formula for farmland, arguing the formula used to calculate funding for flood prevention doesn't value farmland high enough.
“I am delighted to be appointed as Environment Secretary,” Truss said in a statement posted to her website. “I look forward to tackling the important issues facing our rural communities including championing British food, protecting people from flooding and improving the environment.
“I have greatly enjoyed my role at the Department for Education and would like to thank the excellent team there for all their hard work. I look forward to working with the team at Defra.”
Before her election to Parliament, Truss served as deputy director at Reform, a think-tank where she advocated for rigorous academic standards, tackling organized crime and addressing Britain's competitiveness. She worked in the energy and telecommunications industries for 10 years as a commercial manager and economics director and an accountant.
Truss was raised in Yorkshire. She is a graduate of Merton College, Oxford Univ., where she studied philosophy, politics and economics.