USDA Under Biden Turns to Non-Profits to Fill Three Senior Jobs

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The Biden administration turned to three non-profit officials to fill powerful deputy posts, positioning them to temporarily lead branches of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

All three were named deputy undersecretaries, positions that don’t require Senate confirmation. While the posts ultimately place them in the No. 2 roles of their respective divisions, for the time being, they will be the senior appointees. That effectively puts them in charge of USDA’s branches until the undersecretaries are confirmed, a period that could last months.

Stacy Dean, an expert in food assistance policy for the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, was named Deputy Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, the department said Thursday.

Justin Maxson, chief executive officer of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, was named Deputy Undersecretary for Rural Development.

Mae Wu, a senior director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, was named Deputy Undersecretary of Marketing and Regulatory Programs.

President Joe Biden’s nominee for Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, hasn’t yet been confirmed by the Senate. The administration hasn’t announced appointees for undersecretary positions in the department.

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