Statement From Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack On Personnel Announcements

“I am pleased to announce today the appointment of Anne MacMillan and Oscar Gonzales, Jr. as USDA Deputy Chiefs of Staff. Anne and Oscar will jointly take on the responsibilities of a number of staff members from the Office of the Secretary who have moved on to new roles at USDA and elsewhere. Anne MacMillan, who currently serves as a Senior Policy Advisor within the Office of the Secretary, will oversee external affairs and USDA policy management. Oscar Gonzales will handle operational matters within the Department, following his successful service as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Departmental Management.

Additionally, with regret I am also announcing that Carole Jett will depart USDA in early April, capping off 37 years of dedicated public service. Carole has been an invaluable member of the USDA team under the Obama Administration, starting as co-chair of the President’s USDA transition team and continuing as my current Deputy Chief of Staff. USDA would not have been able to achieve our record level of results over the course of the past four years without Carole’s leadership. I consider Carole Jett a tremendous leader and a close friend, and wish her the best in her transition to the private sector.”

Additional Background

Anne MacMillan serves as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary in the areas of nutrition, specialty crops, food safety, livestock markets and animal health. Prior to joining the Department, Anne was the Policy Advisor to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on issues related to agriculture, small business, veterans and government oversight. Before joining the Office of the Speaker, Anne worked for Congressman Dennis Cardoza as Legislative Director and principal liaison to the House Agriculture Committee and House Resources Committee. Anne is originally from Sacramento and received her undergraduate degree at the University of California, San Diego, and a law degree from the George Washington University School of Law. She is currently a member of Maryland State Bar Association.  

Oscar Gonzales Jr. currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration at USDA. He previously served as Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Relations and as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Oscar previously served as Deputy Appointments Secretary to former California Governor Gray Davis. He also served on the staff of California Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa, and in a wide range of community organizing roles. Oscar was born and raised in East Los Angeles, California. He earned an Associate of Arts degree from East L.A. College and a Bachelor of Arts in political science at the University of California, San Diego.
 
Carole Jett will be departing USDA to rejoin the Blackwoods Group, a consulting group she founded in 2008.

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