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AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VILSACK NAMES JULIE PARADIS TO SERVE AS ADMINISTRATOR FOR FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICES
WASHINGTON, May 12, 2009 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that Julie Paradis will serve as Administrator for the Food and Nutrition Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington, D.C. The Food and Nutrition Service administers the food and nutrition assistance programs in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The agency provides children and needy families with better access to food and a more healthful diet through its programs and nutrition education efforts.
"For more than three decades, Paradis has worked to improve national food and nutrition programs and she will now be able to hit the ground running to enhance how these programs are delivered to the American people," said Vilsack. "It is a great honor to welcome Julie back to USDA to work with the President and me to improve the health and nutrition of people across this great country."
Between August of 2001 and October of 2006, Paradis served as Senior Washington Counsel for America's Second Harvest (currently known as Feeding America), the nation's largest organization of emergency food providers, comprised of 215 regional food banks and food recovery organizations serving 50,000 local food pantries and soup kitchens. She was actively engaged in working with federal officials to formulate federal food assistance and human services policy, with an emphasis on federal policies necessary to help create a hunger free America.
Paradis also previously served at USDA as Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services from December 1997 until January 2001. She was responsible for policy and program development for the 15 federal nutrition assistance programs, including Food Stamps, school meals, WIC, and commodity donations.
Prior to this appointment, Paradis held various staff positions with the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Agriculture beginning in March of 1989. From 1995 until the end of 1997, she served as Deputy Democratic Counsel for the House Agriculture Committee, providing legal oversight for legislative issues including the Food Stamp provisions of both the welfare reform and balanced budget acts. Paradis also has served as Assistant Democratic Counsel for the House Agriculture Committee, providing legal support for the reauthorization of the National School Lunch Act and the Mickey Leland Childhood Hunger Relief Act; Staff Consultant to the House Agriculture Committee's Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Subcommittee; and Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Domestic Marketing, Consumer Relations, and Nutrition. Prior to her Capitol Hill experience, Paradis served for nine years as a staff attorney in USDA's Office of General Counsel.
Paradis' 30 years of federal expertise covers a wide range of USDA's nutrition assistance and agricultural programs, including domestic nutrition assistance programs, nutrition education, commodity distribution programs, meat and poultry inspection, fruit and vegetable marketing, milk marketing orders, animal welfare, and grazing fees.
Paradis is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, a member of the Texas Bar Association, and served on the Board of Directors of the Coalition on Human Needs.