Oscar Gonzales Jr. currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He joined USDA in June 2009 as the Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Relations and later became Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations.
Oscar's previous work in government includes serving as Deputy Appointments Secretary to former California Governor Gray Davis, where he oversaw nominations and appointments to the California's Environmental Protection Agency and Natural Resources Agency. He also served as a Field Representative to former California Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa. Oscar's community organizing work began in the aftermath of the L.A. Riots in 1992 and at the time President Clinton launched the AmeriCorps program. During this time, Oscar worked for the Constitutional Rights Foundation and the Corporation for National Service as a Program and Training Officer.
Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Oscar served as Associate Director of the UFW Foundation where he helped advance the rights of farm workers and the need for immigration reform. He also served as the California Director for the National Hispanic Environmental Council, where he worked on federal legislation to protect California's wilderness and wild rivers systems.
Oscar was born and raised in East Los Angeles, California. He earned an Associate of Arts degree from East L.A. College and went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in political science at the University of California, San Diego. Oscar and his wife Christine currently reside in Washington, D.C.