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Name: Michener, Michael
Current Position: Former Administrator

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack turned on March 23, 2009, to fellow Iowan, Michael Michener, to be the next Administrator of USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). FAS has primary responsibility for USDA’s international activities, including market development, international trade agreements and negotiations and the collection and analysis of market information. After internal criticism that he was putting too much emphasis on agricultrual development projects in Afghanistan, Michener was reassigned effective January 1, 2010, to a position representing the U.S. to United Nations projects.

Michener was born and raised on a farm in New London, Iowa, where his grandparents had a fertilizer business. His interest in foreign affairs was sparked by a high school tour of the United Nations. While serving in the Army in Europe, Michener earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Maryland. Over the past ten years, he has served in three U.S. foreign affairs agencies, spending considerable time overseas promoting post-conflict stability operations, economic development and human rights.  From 1999 to 2005, he served in the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Kosovo, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. From 2005 to 2007, he served as the lead Iraq policy officer for the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, managing nearly $400 million in assistance programs promoting democracy and human rights in that country. From 2007 to 2009, he served as the Senior Democracy and Governance Advisor and Lead Planning Officer for the State Department’s Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization.  In one of the first changes under Michener’s regime, FAS recently added country information pages to its Web site to provide essential demographic, economic and political information. 
A Democrat, Michener contributed $1,000 to Democratic candidates in 2007, including $750 to then-Senator Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and $250 to Iowa Democratic Governor Tom Vilsack. He was also a foreign policy advisor to Vilsack during his brief presidential campaign in 2008.



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