USDA Appoints Sr. Deputy Secretaries for Nutrition, Rural Development, Marketing and Regulatory Programs

The three experts have depth of knowledge and experience across nutrition, economic development and food and environmental security.

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced three senior appointments Thursday.

USDA announced that nutrition policy expert Stacy Dean has been named Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS). Prior to joining USDA, Dean served as Vice President for Food Assistance Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C. She directed the Center’s food assistance team, which publishes frequent reports on how federal nutrition programs affect families and communities and develops policies to improve them. She joined the Center in 1997 and has deep experience understanding the delivery of health and human services programs at the state and local levels. Previously, as a budget analyst at the Office of Management and Budget, she worked on policy development, regulatory and legislative review, and budgetary process and execution for a variety of income support programs. Dean earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public policy from the University of Michigan.

USDA also announced Justin Maxson, CEO of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, has been named Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development. Maxson served as the CEO of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, an organization that works toward poverty alleviation and economic justice in southern states. Before that, he spent 13 years as the president of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development. Maxson holds a master’s degree in anthropology and development from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Kentucky.

USDA also announced that Mae Wu has been named Deputy Under Secretary of Marketing and Regulatory Programs. Prior to joining USDA, Wu served as a Senior Director at the Natural Resource Defense Council, helping to lead the organization’s health and food work. She has also worked with the federal government to revise the Total Coliform Rule, as well as served on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee and its National Drinking Water Advisory Council. Wu holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Rice University, a master’s degree in environmental policy from the University of Cambridge, and a Juris Doctor from Duke University.

“We are honored to have professionals of the caliber of Stacy, Justin and Mae join our team — three experts with depth of knowledge, experience and respect from peers and colleagues across nutrition, economic development, and food and environmental security. Their talents will help us end the pandemic’s grip on our economy, address the urgency of hunger and climate change, and maintain the safety and security of our food,” said Katharine Ferguson, Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary.