WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden appointed Andy Berke to serve as administrator of the rural utilities service at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Most recently, Berke served as a special representative for Broadband at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in the US Department of Commerce.

From 2013 to 2021, Berke was mayor of Chattanooga, Tenn. As mayor, he established a program to bring free high-speed internet service to families with children receiving free or reduced lunch at school. His administration also launched efforts to reduce poverty, improve aging infrastructure and increase the use of clean energy.

Before then, Berke was elected to the Tennessee State Senate. He served on the Senate Transportation and Education Committees and was appointed to the Governor’s State Workforce Development Board and Interagency Coordinating Council on Early Learning. Berke also served as a law clerk for the US Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and as a legislative assistant for Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.).

He received his Bachelor of Science from Stanford University and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School.

“Throughout his career, Andy has demonstrated a clear and constant vision to improve the lives of rural Americans,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Andy’s advocacy for better services, safer streets and improved infrastructure makes him an inspired choice for the role of rural utilities service administrator. I look forward to his continued leadership at USDA.”