WASHINGTON – Dr. Kathleen A. Merrigan will be nominated to serve as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, President Barack Obama announced.

"She will bring to U.S.D.A. extensive expertise in agricultural marketing and nutrition and in legislative affairs and will provide excellent, experienced leadership as we move President Obama's agricultural and nutritional agenda forward," added Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

Ms. Merrigan is currently an assistant professor and director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment M.S. and Ph.D. Program at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, Boston.

She was appointed administrator of U.S.D.A.'s Agricultural Marketing Service by former President Bill Clinton in 1999. Prior to that, Ms. Merrigan was a senior analyst at the Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture and an expert consultant at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome.

From 1987 to 1992, she was a staff member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry where she helped develop the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, which mandated national organic standards and a program of federal accreditation.

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