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AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VILSACK NAMES MARY MCNEIL AS DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR CIVIL RIGHTS
WASHINGTON, July 15, 2009 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the appointment of Mary McNeil as USDA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights. In this position, McNeil will have responsibility for the leadership, coordination, and direction for USDA's civil rights programs, including matters related to program delivery, compliance and equal employment opportunity.
"As we embark on a new era in civil rights at USDA, Mary McNeil brings vast experience to USDA in both civil rights and American Indian programs at the Department," said Vilsack. "Her leadership will enhance President Obama's and my goal of USDA being a model employer and premier service provider to all."
Most recently, McNeil served as the transition advisor to the National Congress of American Indians and on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition. McNeil worked for the Potlatch Fund as Director of Grants and Programs in the state of Washington and provided consulting services to tribal and other organizations.
During the Clinton Administration, McNeil served as USDA's Director of Native American Programs and as a search manager in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. McNeil has also worked as a staff assistant to Senator Brock Adams, as the assistant to the president for the Sealaska Heritage Foundation, an Alaska Native nonprofit charitable foundation, and as a planner for the State of Alaska.
McNeil holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Stanford University and a law degree from Stanford Law School. She is an enrolled member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.