Key USDA, USTR personnel changes announced

USDA Deputy Secretary Merrigan has resigned; Anne MacMillian and Oscar Gonzales will become deputy chiefs of staff.

USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan has resigned. In addition, Secretary Vilsack announced that Anne MacMillian and Oscar Gonzales will become deputy chiefs of staff.

MacMillian most recently has served as senior policy advisor to the secretary. Before joining USDA, she served as the agriculture legislative assistant for Reps. Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Cardoza (D-Calif.).

Carole Jett will retire in early April after 37 years of service at USDA, most of which was with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and most recently as deputy chief of staff.

After four years of service, US Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk left office and announced that Deputy USTR Demetrios Marantis will become acting USTR on March 15.


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Ambassador Marantis has served as deputy USTR since 2009 with primary responsibility for US trade policy for Asia and Africa, including the TransPacific Partnership and the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade. Ambassador Marantis also leads on administration of the African Growth and Opportunity Act and the US Generalized System of Preferences program.

Before joining the Administration, Ambassador Marantis served as chief international trade counsel for the Senate Finance Committee. He also spent two years in Vietnam as chief legal advisor for the US-Vietnam Trade Council and from 1998-2002 he was an associate general counsel at USTR. He worked for five years in the Washington and Brussels offices of the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld.

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