WASHINGTON, DC – Earlier today, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the appointment of Daniel Whitley as the new Administrator of the Department’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), overseeing personnel in nearly 100 U.S. embassies, consulates, and international organizations around the world and collectively providing representation across 180 countries. The FAS specializes in providing expertise in international trade policy, market development and export assistance, trade data and analysis, and international food aid.
Whitley has been serving as the Acting Administrator for FAS since the Administration’s transition in January of 2021. Prior to that role, he was the Associate Administrator responsible for leading the agency’s trade policy and market analysis teams. During his 20-plus year career in FAS, Daniel has served in a number of leadership roles including Deputy Administrator of the Office of Global Analysis and the Director of the Office of Civil Rights.
Whitley began his career with the Department’s Economic Research Service, working on market access issues in the World Trade Organization. Whitley holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics, is a proud graduate of Southern University and A&M College and Louisiana State University.
USA Rice President and CEO Betsy Ward said, “We are pleased that Secretary Vilsack has appointed Daniel to this important role for U.S. agriculture and particularly important for the rice industry. His experience within FAS speaks for itself and we don’t expect any real transition period as he already ‘hit the ground running’ several months ago.”
“USA Rice relies heavily on our longstanding relationships within the FAS to award Market Access Program, Foreign Market Development Program, and most recently, Agricultural Trade Promotion Program funding to support our efforts to promote U.S. rice throughout dozens of markets overseas. Our members also support the work FAS’s food assistance division does to provide milled and fortified rice to those in need, using the Food for Progress and McGovern Dole Programs. We are looking forward to working more closely with Daniel in this more permanent role to further grow our export markets worldwide.”
Additionally, USA Rice staff work closely with the trade policy and data analysis teams both in Washington and at the various FAS posts across the globe to monitor and support market promotion. For 2021, USA Rice received $4.88 million in funds from the FAS’s Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development program to promote the sales and consumption of U.S. rice abroad. There are also $3.5 million in Agricultural Trade Promotion funds that can be applied in 2021-2023.