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Statement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Intent to Nominate Margo Schlanger to Serve as USDA Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

WASHINGTON, September 16, 2021 – “I am pleased with President Biden’s decision to nominate Margo Schlanger to serve as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights. Her nomination cements USDA’s commitment to civil rights and equity as we work for the American people; in this role, she will be an essential voice in our effort to ensure access, inclusion and fairness in all of our services and programs. Margo’s life and career demonstrate a long-lasting commitment to civil rights and to public service. During her time with the Department of Homeland Security, Margo served as an Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and later as Counsel to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on civil rights matters. She also served as a Trial Attorney and Senior Trial Attorney within the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. Margo currently teaches at the University of Michigan School of Law, where she has held a number of roles since 2009; she previously taught at Harvard Law School, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of California. In 2004, she founded the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, a leading source of civil rights information designed to allow greater understanding of historical and contemporary American civil rights litigation. Throughout her career, Margo has shown her dedication to advancing and enhancing civil rights through both service to her nation and in shaping the minds of the next generation of advocates. We are enthusiastic about the prospect of her joining team USDA and look forward to her leadership as we continually seek to fairly, and equitably, serve our employees and customers.”

To view President Biden’s announcement on his intent to nominate Margo Schlanger as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at USDA, you may read President Biden Announces his Intent to Nominate Key Members of his Administration.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.