Robin E. Heard, a native of Louisiana, received her B.A., Summa Cum Laude, Phi Kappa Phi, from the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 1976 and did graduate work in Forest Resources at the University of Georgia.
She began her career over 33 years ago as an administrative trainee with the Soil Conservation Service (now Natural Resources Conservation Service). Her ability to approach administrative and management issues in a holistic manner that enhanced achievement of conservation goals and protected the productivity and satisfaction of the front line employees was quickly recognized. Her success in eliminating "red tape" in providing services to customers was recognized by the Vice-President's Hammer Award. Her commitment to diversity in recruitment and fairness was recognized by a Secretary's Honor Award. She also received a Secretary's Honor Award for her successful effort to reduce bureaucratic burden in agency processes impacting field productivity and employee satisfaction.
Ms. Heard rose through the ranks, serving in various management positions throughout the country, including budget, human resources, and resource conservation, to the position of State Conservationist in Pennsylvania, where she instituted cost-saving, common sense approaches to conservation on private lands. Her versatility and knowledge allowed her to serve in various acting Senior Executive Service positions, including Regional Conservationist and Chief Financial Officer, before being appointed to the position of Director, Easement Programs Division in the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
In January 2009, Heard was asked to assist in the transition and was named Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights. In May 2009, she accepted her current position as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration, where she has played a key role in USDA Cultural Transformation.