Fourteen New Agricultural Officers Sworn into Foreign Service
WASHINGTON, July 11, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Dr. Jewel Bronaugh administered the oath of office today to 14 USDA employees who will serve American agriculture internationally as members of the Foreign Service.
The diplomats begin their careers as agricultural attachés at U.S. embassies and diplomatic missions on five continents, where they will monitor and report on global agricultural production and trade, identify export opportunities, enhance food security and support U.S. foreign policy objectives.
USDA Deputy Secretary Dr. Jewel Bronaugh and Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Daniel Whitley with seven of the newest agricultural officers sworn into the Foreign Service at USDA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The other seven officers were sworn in virtually from their duty stations across the globe. Pictured left to right: Deputy Secretary Bronaugh, Steve Burgoon, Alex Chinh, Joseph Degreenia, Dr. Susan Karimiha, Jenny Morgan, Karen Richards, Ted Shibata, and Administrator Whitley.
“I congratulate this group of diverse officers on their completion of the rigorous selection and training process for the Foreign Service,” Bronaugh said. “On my overseas engagements as Deputy Secretary, I’ve witnessed firsthand the tremendous work and value that our agricultural attachés deliver serving as the face and voice of American agriculture. As global agricultural trade becomes increasingly competitive and dynamic, their role as Foreign Service officers is more important than ever, and I’m thrilled that USDA is expanding our diplomat corps with these talented officers who are ready to hit the ground, protecting and advancing the interests of U.S. agriculture.”
The officers sworn in today are:
- Eric Baylor II from Birmingham, Ala., assigned to the FAS Office of Agricultural Affairs (OAA) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
- Steve Burgoon from Barrington, Ill., assigned to the FAS Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Guangzhou, China
- Amy Caldwell from Memphis, Tenn., assigned to the OAA in Pretoria, South Africa
- Alex Chinh from Duarte, Calif., assigned to the OAA in Mexico City
- Joseph Degreenia from Severna Park, Md., assigned to the OAA in Brasilia, Brazil
- Dr. Susan Karimiha from Atlanta, assigned to the OAA in Mexico City
- Abigail Mackey from New Albany, Ohio, assigned to the OAA in Bogota, Colombia
- Jenny Morgan from Charlotte, N.C., assigned to the OAA in Cairo
- Nicole Podesta from Bear, Del., assigned to the OAA in Brasilia, Brazil
- Karen Richards from Duluth, Minn., assigned to the OAA in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Hidemaru “Ted” Shibata from Lihue, Hawaii, assigned to the ATO in Shanghai
- Matt Snyder from Elko, Nevada, assigned to the OAA in Nairobi, Kenya
- Joseph “Trip” Taylor from Chicago, assigned to the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels
- Robert Teubner from Fredericksburg, Va. and Naples, Fla., assigned to the OAA in Accra, Ghana
More information about the Foreign Agricultural Service and its work to advance U.S. agricultural interests around the globe is available at www.fas.usda.gov.