The 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. The FAS also administers USDA’s export credit guarantee and international food aid programs, and helps expand income and food availability in developing nations.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has named Michael Michener as Administrator of USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Michener has served in three U.S. foreign affairs agencies in the past 10 years. He has spent considerable time overseas promoting post-conflict stability operations, economic development, and human rights. Most recently, he served as the Senior Democracy and Governance Advisor and Lead Planning Officer for the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization. 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.