Cheryl Cook was appointed by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as Acting Chief Information Officer on April 30, 2012. In this position, Cook provides executive leadership for all USDA Information Technology (IT) investments, operations and management. In addition Ms. Cook advises the Secretary/Deputy Secretary and other USDA senior managers on the strategic use of information technology to support core USDA programs and to achieve mission critical goals.
Prior to coming to OCIO, Cook served as the Deputy Under Secretary for USDA Rural Development from March 30, 2009. In this position, she managed policies and programs in Rural Development's three main areas: Business and Cooperatives, Housing and Community Facilities, and Utilities.
Cook served from May 1993 until March 2000 as Rural Development's Pennsylvania State Director. She also worked in USDA's Washington, D.C. office as Executive Officer of the National Food and Agriculture Council.
Between Federal appointments, Cook served as Deputy Secretary for Marketing and Economic Development at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and as Executive Director for the Keystone Development Center, a non-profit organization in Pennsylvania that helps new and emerging cooperatives. She was a member of the National Farmers Union's public policy staff, focusing on dairy, credit, and environmental issues. She also maintained a private law practice.
Cook received her bachelor's degree from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pa., and a law degree from The Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pa. (April 2009)