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Washington Area Alumni Present Deputy Secretary of the USDA Kathleen Merrigan

AUSTIN, Texas-- June 9, 2009-- The Washington D.C. Area Alumni Association presented Kathleen Merrigan ('87), Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on July 7, 2009, at the Archer Center, part of the University of Texas system, as part of the 2009 LBJ School D.C. Summer Speaker Series, a series of rountable discussions that offer the LBJ School community access to a variety of Washington D.C. policymakers.

  Before rejoining USDA this year, Deputy Secretary Merrigan served as an Assistant Professor and Director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment Program at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University for eight years.  In 2008, she was an expert consultant to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome.

Deputy Secretary Merrigan served as Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service from 1999-2001.  From 1994-99 she worked as a Senior Analyst for the Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, a Washington D.C.-based organization that promotes research and education in sustainable agriculture.  She was a Senior Staff Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry from 1987-92, where she worked as the Chief Science and Technology Advisor to former Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT).  During that time she helped develop the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990.  She worked on pesticide issues as a Special Assistant to the Chief of Regulatory Affairs for the Texas Department of Agriculture, based in Austin, from 1986-1987.

Deputy Secretary Merrigan holds a Ph.D. degree in environmental planning and policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Master of Public Affairs degree from the University of Texas, and a B.A. degree from Williams College.