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WAOB Staff

Main Line:202-720-9805
World Agricultural Outlook Board 1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Room 4419A
Mail Stop 3812
Washington, DC 20250



Mark Jekanowski
WAOB Chairperson
mark.jekanowski@usda.gov



William Chambers
WAOB Deputy Chairperson
william.chambers1@usda.gov

Bill Chambers was appointed Deputy Chairperson for USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board (WOAB) in 2021. He formerly served as the WAOB Chair for food grains. He oversaw the preparation and release of USDA’s official supply and demand estimates pertaining to wheat and rice, which were released in the World Agricultural Supply and Demand (WASDE) report and other USDA publications. Dr. Chambers also served ten years as a commodity and policy analyst with USDA's Farm Service Agency where he analyzed commodity markets, farm policies, new program proposals, and budget outlays. He was also an agricultural economist at ERS and researched a wide variety of issues affecting agricultural commodity markets. A native of Minnesota, Dr. Chambers received master’s and doctorate degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Minnesota in 1995 and 1999.



Mark Brusberg
Chief Meteorologist
mark.brusberg@usda.gov



Robert Gandy
Administrative Officer
robert.gandy@usda.gov


LaDonna Bryant
Secretary
ladonna.bryant@usda.gov



Mirvat Sewadeh
Communications Director and Agricultural Outlook Forum Coordinator
mirvat.sewadeh@usda.gov

Mirvat Sewadeh is the Communications Director for the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE), where she leads various aspects of external and internal communications for OCE and its sub offices. She is also responsible for coordinating USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum, The Department’s premiere annual event. Prior to joining OCE in 2018, Ms. Sewadeh worked for the Economic Research Service as Assistant Director for communications where she led the development and implementation of communications efforts and data dissemination for the Market and Trade Economics Division. Before joining ERS, Ms. Sewadeh worked as an advisor for the World Bank and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on communications and knowledge management with a focus on international trade. Among other roles, she served as the lead writer of USAID’s first quarterly publication on international trade issues in Southern Africa and co-authored several reports on trade and development. Ms. Sewadeh holds a bachelor’s degree in English and demographic studies from the University of Jordan, master’s in business administration from University of Maryland Smith School of Business, and a master’s degree in international relations and economics from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.



Michael Jewison
Interagency Commodity Estimate Committee Chairperson
michael.jewison2@usda.gov

Michael Jewison has been with the Department of Agriculture since 2006 and has served as the Department’s Chairperson of the Interagency Commodity Estimates Committee for feed grains since 2016. His primary responsibility is overseeing the development of the USDA’s global supply and utilization forecasts/estimates as part of the monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. Before joining the WAOB, Mr. Jewison spent several years at USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) and Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), joining USDA in 2006. As a native of Minnesota, he did his undergraduate studies at St. Olaf College, his graduate work at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, and also studied at the Beijing Language and Culture University.



Justin Choe
Agricultural Economist
justin.choe@usda.gov

Justin Choe serves as coarse grains analyst at USDA's World Agricultural Outlook Board. Dr. Choe has experience as a research economist with policy analysis experience in international trade of global commodities, including grains and oilseeds. His expertise lies in trade policy analysis, market forecasting, and policy evaluation. Dr. Choe earned a doctorate at Cornell University in applied economics, and has a master’s and bachelor’s degree from Seoul National University in South Korea.



Stephen MacDonald
Interagency Commodity Estimate Committee Chairperson
stephen.macdonald3@usda.gov

Stephen MacDonald has been with USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) since 2017, where he chairs the Department’s Interagency Commodity Estimates Committee (ICEC) for cotton. Previously, he was a Senior Economist with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), as an international cotton analyst, participating in USDA’s monthly updates of its global cotton estimates and annual long run baseline projections. As a research economist for ERS, his other research interests included forecasting methodology and evaluation, prices, and exchange rates. His education includes degrees in biology and international affairs from Cornell University and George Washington University, and completion of doctoral studies in economics at George Mason University.



Mark Simone
Interagency Commodity Estimate Committee Chairperson
mark.simone@usda.gov

Mark Simone serves as a Food Grain Analyst for USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board since 2017. He currently serves as the Chairperson of the Interagency Commodity Estimates Committee for wheat and rice. He routinely evaluates and clears U.S. and international commodity supply, demand, and price projections developed by the Interagency Commodity Estimates Committees for wheat and rice in preparation of USDA’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand (WASDE) report. Mr. Simone was previously employed by the USDA, Farm Service Agency (FSA), Economic Policy Analysis Staff serving as an Agriculture Economist for 10 years. He also has experience with the U.S. International Trade Commission, Office of Industries as an International Trade Analyst and as a commodity analyst with Andrew B. Bellingham Commodity Trade Analysis, Inc. Mr. Simone earned his master of science, agricultural and resource economics at Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR and his bachelor of science, agricultural and managerial economics, at the University of California, Davis, CA.



Kevin Wittenberger
Agricultural Economist
Kevin.Wittenberger@usda.gov

Kevin Wittenberger joined the Board as a food grains economist in August 2021. Prior to his current position, he served for ten years as a Foreign Service Office with the U.S. State Department with postings in the Agricultural Policy Office, the Visa Policy Office, the India Desk, Honduras, the Philippines, and Washington, DC. He also served as an economist with the Economic Research Service working as an oilseeds analyst and he was Peace Corps Volunteer in Bangladesh.



Shayle Shagam
Interagency Commodity Estimate Committee Chairperson
shayle.shagam@usda.gov

Shayle Shagam is the livestock, poultry, and dairy analyst for USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board and has served as the Department’s has served as the Department’s Chairperson of the Interagency Commodity Estimates Committee for meat and dairy since 1999. Prior to joining the World Agricultural Outlook Board, he worked for 12 years as an international livestock analyst responsible for red meat trade forecasts and animal product trade issues. He has a bachelor’s in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois and an master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University.



Seanicaa Herron
Agricultural Economist
Seanicaa.herron@usda.gov

Seanicaa E. Herron currently serves as an agricultural economist at the World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) within the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE). Mrs. Herron’s primary responsibilities at the World Agricultural Outlook Board include conducting economic analysis relating to supply, use, and price forecasts for livestock, dairy and poultry products which are published in the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. Prior to joining the World Agricultural Outlook Board, Mrs. Herron was employed as an economist at USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) focusing primarily on the U.S. cattle and beef industry. Before entering government service in 2015, Mrs. Herron worked 8 years in the private sector. She was formerly employed by Informa Economics, Doane Agricultural Advisory Services, and Pfizer Animal Genetics. Mrs. Herron also worked in academia as an extension economist at University of Missouri’s Commercial Agriculture Program. Mrs. Herron received her bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness and master’s degree in Agricultural Economics, both from Mississippi State University.



Keith Menzie
Interagency Commodity Estimate Committee Chairperson
keith.menzie@usda.gov

Keith Menzie is the senior oilseeds economist at the World Agricultural Outlook Board of the United States Department of Agriculture where he serves as Chairperson of the Interagency Commodity Estimates Committee for Oilseeds. Prior to his current position, he spent eight years as at the Farm Service Agency working on domestic commodity program and policy issues related to oilseeds and wheat. From 1989 through 1992, he served as a policy analyst in the USDA’s Office of Budget and Program Analysis where he developed cost analyses for farm policy proposals for the 1990 Farm Bill. Dr. Menzie began his career as an economist at the Economic Research Service of USDA.



Joanna Hitchner
Agricultural Economist
joanna.hitchner@usda.gov

Joanna Hitchner is an oilseeds economist at the World Agricultural Outlook Board in USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist. Prior to her current position, she spent six years as a poultry analyst and program specialist for the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. From 2005-2009, she consulted and worked for agribusinesses in Senegal, Martinique, and Ecuador, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama working for a women’s agricultural cooperative. In early 2018, she was detailed to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Trade and Agriculture Directorate in Paris to work on the cereals section of the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2018-2027. Ms. Hitchner has bachelor’s in economics from Connecticut College and a master’s in business administration from the University of Maryland.



Stephen Haley
Interagency Commodity Estimate Committee Chairperson
stephen.haley2@usda.gov

Stephen Haley has been with the Department of Agriculture for over 30 years and is currently a Commodity Analyst for the World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) within the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE). He has been serving as a chairperson charged with overseeing the development of the USDA’s global supply and utilization forecasts/estimates as part of the monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) and other departmental reports. Haley earned his doctorate in Economics at the Purdue University in 1985.



David Boussios
Agricultural Economist
david.boussios@usda.gov

David Boussios works on macroeconomic topics and commodity markets projections for the World Agricultural Outlook Board. David was previously a research economist in the Markets and Trade Economic Division at the Economic Research Service, focusing on analyzing agricultural commodity markets and farm policy. David holds a doctorate and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from Purdue University and Kansas State University, respectively, and bachelor in economics from Cornell College.



Eric Luebehusen
Meteorologist
eric.luebehusen@usda.gov

Eric Luebehusen is a Meteorologist with the USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist, where he covers weather and crop impacts for the US as well as international areas, including Europe, Northern Africa, the Middle East, and the Former Soviet Union. As an employee of the World Agricultural Outlook Board, his key responsibility is to provide analysis in support of the USDA’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate. He has developed over 100 operational yield regression models to support the WASDE, using innovative techniques to merge satellite and weather data into a dynamic process that provides WAOB economists with real-time yield forecasts. Eric was an author of the US Drought Monitor for over 10 years, spearheading the effort to use GIS data to improve the product’s accuracy and detail. He has also worked for: the Maryland Department of the Environment as an air quality modeler and forecaster; NOAA’s Satellite Analysis Branch as an operational meteorologist; and the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center, gaining valuable experience at the Joint Agricultural Weather Facility.



Brian Morris
Meteorologist
brian.morris@usda.gov

Brian Morris is an agricultural meteorologist with the USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) located in the Office of the Chief Economist. Mr. Morris is a member of the Interagency Commodity Estimates Committees (ICEC) within the WAOB, lending his expertise in weather and climate and their impacts on agricultural production across eastern and southern Asia. He joined the WAOB in 1999, previously having worked as a meteorologist in the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center for six years. Mr. Morris is the Production Manager and contributing author to the Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin. Furthermore, he has served as an adjunct instructor with the Graduate School USA, where he taught Introduction to Meteorology, and represented the United States in matters of international agro-meteorology within the United Nation’s World Meteorological Organization. He completed undergraduate studies in Meteorology at North Carolina State University and earned a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems from N.C. State as well.



Brad Rippey
Meteorologist
brad.rippey@usda.gov

Brad Rippey is an agricultural meteorologist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Chief Economist, and the managing editor of the Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin. He is one of ten rotating authors of the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor and a contributor to the monthly North American Drought Monitor. Prior to joining USDA in 1998, Rippey worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce for more than 10 years. Since 1994, he has been a columnist and contributing editor for Weatherwise magazine. He is a 1988 graduate of Penn State University.



Harlan Shannon
Meteorologist
harlan.shannon@usda.gov

Harlan Shannon joined the World Agricultural Outlook Board in 1999. As a meteorologist, Harlan is responsible for assessing weather and climate impacts on Australian agriculture, developing geospatial products and applications to support WAOB agricultural weather and drought monitoring activities, preparing ad hoc weather analyses when extreme weather threatens U.S. crops and livestock, and serving as the WAOB focal point for World Meteorological Organization (WMO) related activities. Prior to joining USDA, Harlan worked for the Center for Conservation Research and Technology, developing a numerical model to forecast avian soaring flight times and altitudes to reduce the bird strike hazard to aircraft. Harlan earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in Meteorology from Pennsylvania State University.