Phil Karsting was appointed Administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service in May 2013. He previously served more than 22 years on Capitol Hill, most recently as chief of staff to Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), then-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies.
Phil's prior Capitol Hill assignments included serving as senior analyst on the Democratic staff of the Senate Budget Committee where he handled issues relating to agriculture, rural development, housing, telecommunications, energy and the environment. He also served as legislative assistant to the late Senator Jim Exon (D-Neb.). He served on the Senate bipartisan chiefs of staff steering committee and, in 2013, he led training seminars in Liberia for Liberian congressional staff on behalf of the National Democratic Institute.
Phil began his association with American agriculture working in his family's farm supply business in rural Nebraska. He received a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is also a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York City.