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Office of External and Intergovernmental Affairs

Our Vision

The Office of External and Intergovernmental Affairs (EIA) builds trusted relationships with state, county and local elected and appointed officials, and external organizations (trade associations, philanthropic organizations, and faith-based organizations) throughout the nation to advance USDA and the Secretary’s priorities and to serve as the hub for elected and appointed officials and external organizations to communicate with the Secretary and USDA officials and access programs and services.

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Meet Our Staff

Samantha Joseph

Samantha Joseph
Director, Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Samantha H. Joseph serves as the Director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Samantha spent the first 10 years of her career in Corporate Social Responsibility leading community, diversity and environmental programs. Most recently, she led the outreach and engagement efforts for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Vaccine Equity Initiative. In partnership with faith-based and community organizations, Samantha helped administer over two million COVID-19 vaccines. A dedicated community leader, Samantha is chair of the board of directors of Samaritans, the largest suicide prevention agency in MA and vice-chair of the board of directors of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston. She is a graduate of the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Learn more about the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

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Nathaniel ‘Alex’ Córdova
Community Development Specialist, Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Nathaniel ‘Alex’ Córdova is a Community Development Specialist with the USDA Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, where he leads initiatives with a focus on outreach, technical assistance, and capacity building. He joined USDA in 2016 as a Presidential Management Fellow with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. He has also served as a Strategic Engagement Specialist and Promise Zone Desk Officer with USDA Rural Development, and as a Business Development Specialist with the Agricultural Marketing Service.

Alex brings over 15 years of experience in agricultural development and food system resilience. He is a member of the Prince George's County Food Equity Council and the Council of Development Finance Agencies' Food Systems Finance Advisory Council. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and Religious Studies, with a minor in American Ethnic Studies, from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. Alex obtained a Master’s in Public Administration from the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs with a concentration in public and nonprofit management in 2015.

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