AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VILSACK NAMES VICTOR VASQUEZ AS DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT
WASHINGTON, May 13, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack continued naming top staff today and appointed Victor Vasquez to serve as Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development at the USDA in Washington, D.C. The Rural Development agency helps rural areas to develop and grow by offering Federal assistance that improves the local quality of life - targeting communities in need and then empowering them with financial and technical resources.
"Victor Vasquez is a welcome addition to the USDA team because he brings a solid understanding of both economic development issues as well as meeting the most pressing needs facing people in our communities," said Vilsack. "Because of this broad knowledge, he will be able to quickly work to strengthen rural communities throughout our country."
Vasquez has had more than two decades of experience in government and private sector in community and economic development at the local, state, federal and international levels. His special interest is local decision making and leadership development.
Most recently, Vasquez served as Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the Department of Transitional Assistance for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. His responsibilities included policy and program management for TANF, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance and the Housing and Homeless Services programs. In addition to Massachusetts, he has worked in state governments in New York, Oregon and Washington.
Previously, Vasquez worked in Washington as the Director for both economic development and Workfirst programs, and he also served with the Department of Defense as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Military Community and Family Policy Office in the Office of the Secretary. Victor also spent more than five years working in rural development, serving as USDA Assistant Administrator in the Office of Community Development with responsibility for launching the Rural Empowerment Zone and Enterprise Community program.
Vasquez received his Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Oregon and holds an MPA from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has also pursued coursework toward a PhD in Community and Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University.