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U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments

WASHINGTON, February 7, 2024 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the names of individuals who will hold senior staff positions in Washington, D.C.

Malcom A. Shorter has been named Assistant Secretary for Administration

Malcolm Shorter is an accomplished administrative and financial professional who has offered his expertise in government relations and operational management at USDA for over a decade. In February 2023, Shorter was selected as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Administration. He previously served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration from March 2021 and from June 2013 through December 2016. Shorter also served as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Administration from January 2017 through September 2017. Shorter has also served as the Associate Deputy Chief for Business Operations in the U.S. Forest Service, providing leadership for the Agency’s Office of Information Technology, the National Job Corps Program, and the National Enterprise Program. Earlier in his career, was the Staff Director for the House Committee on Veteran Affairs and held roles in the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Homeland Security. He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Army with more than 22 years of service. Shorter graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. He also holds a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University.

Richard Rush has been appointed Idaho State Director for Rural Development

Rush most recently served as Idaho’s State Executive Director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency in the Obama Administration, and he also served in the same position in the Clinton Administration from 1993 to 2001. In 2006, Rush served as the Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross of Greater Idaho. Prior, he served as the Vice President for Natural Resources from 2001-2006 and the Vice President of Legislative Affairs from 1991-1993 for the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry. In 1985, he was appointed by Idaho Governor Andrus to be the State Director for the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, where he served for five years. Before, Rush held managerial and administrative roles at the Idaho Wheat Commission, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s Development Enterprise, and the Boise Cascade Corporation. Rush graduated from the University of Idaho with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics, then got a Master of Science in Agriculture Economics from the University of California, Davis.

Arnold Hernandez has been appointed Idaho State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency

Previously, Hernandez was the Assistant Dean of Students, Founder, and Director of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Department at the College of Idaho where he worked for 27 years. In this role, he served as a curricular and co-curricular resource for college students, faculty and staff on best practices, national trends, and campus community needs related to access and inclusion, intercultural issues, diversity, and social justice. Before, he was an Employment and Training Manager at the Idaho Migrant Council. He has also held roles at Boise State University and the Private Industry Council. Hernandez began his career in the Wilder School District in Idaho as a Home and School Coordinator with the Migrant Program. Hernandez graduated from Boise State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish.

Leroy M. Garcia has been appointed Chief of Staff for the Rural Business Cooperative Service

Garcia most recently served as the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs at the Department of Defense. In 2014, Garcia was elected to represent Colorado’s 3rd State Senate District, covering Pueblo, Pueblo West, and part of Salt Creek. He became Assistant Minority Leader at the start of the 2017 Legislative Session and Senate President at the start of the 2019 Legislative Session. In 2020, he was unanimously re-elected to continue in his role as Senate President for the 73rd General Assembly. During the 2020 presidential election, Joe Biden selected Senator Garcia to serve on his national Latino Leadership Committee, as well as a co-chair of Colorado's Latino Leadership Committee. Prior to the Colorado Senate, Senator Garcia served in the Colorado House of Representatives. From 2001 to 2007, Garcia served in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq as a mortuary affairs specialist in 2003. Garcia is a first-generation college graduate with a master’s degree in organizational management from Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa, a bachelor’s in management from the University of Phoenix, and an associate degree in emergency medical services from Pueblo Community College.

Shawn Campbell has been named Policy Advisor for the Farm Service Agency

Previously, Campbell served as Lead Legislative Analyst for USDA’s Office of Congressional Relations. Before coming to USDA, he spent over five years in the legislative branch. Recently, he served as a Special Assistant in the Office of Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado. Prior, Campbell worked for Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut as a Legislative Correspondent, Correspondence Assistant, and Staff Assistant. Campbell graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in African American Studies. He is a native of Hartford, Connecticut.


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