Cross-cutting sustainable development programs and policies at USDA are coordinated by the Director of Sustainable Development and the Council for Sustainable Development:
The Director of Sustainable Development leads and coordinates cross-mission area work in sustainable development and represents the Department in both domestic and international arenas on issues relating to sustainable development.
The USDA Council on Sustainable Development is the forum for policy and program development, implementation, and evaluation of issues relating to sustainable development, and provides the framework and mechanism needed for integration across mission areas and program activities, such as research, management, technical assistance, education, and grant and loan delivery. The Council is chaired by the Director of Sustainable Development. The Under Secretaries for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services; Natural Resources and Environment; Research, Education, and Economics; Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services; and Rural Development, and the Assistant Secretaries for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, and Administration each appoint one member to serve on the Council. In addition, Administrators of the Agricultural Research Service, Agricultural Marketing Service, Economic Research Service, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service, Director of the National Agricultural Library; and the Chiefs of the Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, also each appoint a member to serve on the Council. Other agencies, as interested and appropriate can also serve on the Council. The Council is mandated to meet at least four times each year.
Both the Director position and the Council were created by Secretary’s Memorandum #9500-6 on September 13, 1996.