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News Release

Release No. 0066.09
Contact:
Harold Kanarek (202) 720-0328

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VILSACK NAMES MICHENER FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE ADMINISTRATOR

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today named Michael Michener as Administrator of USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

"I am extremely pleased to have someone with Mike's vast foreign affairs experience on my team," said Vilsack. "In addition to its efforts to expand economic opportunities for U.S. agriculture in the international marketplace, FAS also plays a vital role in international food aid and development programs."

Michener has served in three U.S. foreign affairs agencies in the past 10 years. He has spent considerable time overseas promoting post-conflict stability operations, economic development and human rights. Most recently, he served as the Senior Democracy and Governance Advisor and Lead Planning Officer for the U.S. State Department's Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization. From 2005 to 2007, he served as the lead Iraq policy officer for the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, managing nearly $400 million in assistance programs promoting democracy and human rights in that country. He also has experience working with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Kosovo, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

FAS has primary responsibility for USDA's international activities, including market development, international trade agreements and negotiations and the collection and analysis of market information. FAS also administers USDA's export credit guarantee and international food aid programs, and helps expand income and food availability in developing nations.

Michener was educated at the University of Maryland in Europe while serving with the U.S. Army. His hometown is New London, Iowa.