Administrator of the Rural Utilities Service: Who Is John Charles Padalino?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

John Charles Padalino, who has served as acting administrator of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) since September 17, 2012, was named permanent Administrator on May 23, 2013. An agency of the Department of Agriculture (USDA), RUS is the successor to the New Deal's Rural Electrification Administration, and has funded rural electric cooperatives since its creation on May 11, 1935. At present, RUS has more than $60 billion in assets under management to finance electric, telecommunications and water and wastewater utilities serving rural areas nationwide. Padalino succeeds Jonathan Adelstein, who served as RUS Administrator starting in July 2009.


Born in Texas circa 1973 to Jerry Padalino, who was a law enforcement officer with the U.S. Customs Service, and Priscilla (née Laguna) Padalino, Padalino earned a B.A. in Government at the University of Texas at Austin in 1995 and a J.D. from Rutgers School of Law-Camden in 2003, where he was on the Rutgers Law Review. In the interim, he worked as a water and wastewater utility operator at Severn Trent Environmental Services, Inc., from 1995 to 1997, and as a senior water and wastewater utility operator at H20 Consulting, Inc., from 1997 to 2000. 


Licensed by Texas in 2003, Padalino practiced law in El Paso at Kemp Smith LLP from 2003 to 2009, representing rural water districts, litigating commercial cases and handling appeals in state and federal appellate courts. He also took leave from his law practice in 2008 to volunteer as a field organizer for Obama for America in Texas.


From 2009 to 2012, Padalino served in a number of positions at USDA, including acting principal deputy general counsel for the Office of General Counsel, chief of staff for USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager, and acting administrator of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service. 


John Padalino married Rachael B. Ribble in 2004 in Texas, and they have two children, Lucius and Fiona.

-Matt Bewig


Official Biography (pdf)

Inside the USDA Rural Development’s Rural Utility Services with Acting Administrator John Padalino… (by Brian Allmer, BARN) (audio)


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