Back to Officials


Name: Brewer, John
Current Position: Former Administrator

John D. Brewer was selected to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) after morale plummeted under the previous administrator. He took over as acting administrator on January 1, 2010, and as administrator on January 27.  Although Brewer’s specialty has been security and threat assessment, it is now his responsibility to get the FAS back on track and focused on its mission of promoting American farm goods throughout the world.

A native of Florence, South Carolina, Brewer attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, earning bachelor’s degrees in history and English (1989) before receiving his master’s in diplomatic history from the London School of Economics and Political Science in the United Kingdom.
Brewer’s career has spanned the public and private sectors. He worked for more than a decade in the federal government, serving in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the Department of Defense’s Office of Counternarcotics and for the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network . His areas of expertise included U.S. policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean, counter-narcotics policy, and anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing programs. His regional experience included Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.
His work outside government included serving as American International Group’s (AIG) assistant editor for the Executive Briefing Book (EBB), a strategic analysis of global risk provided to CEOs and risk managers, and leading the working group that developed the company’s Threat Assessment Center (TAC) which handled information regarding a threat or incident involving any AIG facility worldwide.
Brewer later became a senior analyst in AIG’s Office of Global Risk Assessments making him responsible for providing analysis on business risks and global threats that could impact the company’s businesses in Latin America, Eastern Europe, India, Africa and the Middle East.
Before joining the FAS, he worked at the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, where he was an associate on the Global Security/Threat Finance Team. Brewer handled intelligence and finance-related projects for firm clients, including the departments of Defense, Justice, Homeland Security and Treasury, as well as private-sector financial institutions such as Bank of America and Wachovia.
During the 2008 Democratic contest for president, Brewer worked on the short-lived campaign of Tom Vilsack, former governor of Iowa who later was tabbed by President Barack Obama to be his secretary of agriculture.
Brewer joined the FAS in July 2009 as associate administrator, and the following month he also took on the role of general sales manager.
Last December, Vilsack decided FAS needed a shakeup at the top of its leadership, reassigning administrator Michael Michener to become special representative at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations Agencies in Rome. Brewer then was elevated to acting administrator on January 1, and permanent administrator a few weeks later.
Michener was reportedly moved after an FAS personnel survey indicated morale was suffering under his watch. Both current and retired FAS officers had criticized Michener for paying too much attention to agricultural development projects in Afghanistan, while neglecting the agency’s traditional mission of analyzing foreign agricultural production and promoting the sale of U.S. agricultural products.
-Noel Brinkerhoff

Head of Foreign Agricultural Service Reassigned (by Jerry Hagstrom, Government Executive)
Vilsack Names John D. Brewer as General Sales Manager of FAS (National Association of State Departments of Agriculture)
Bookmark and Share