Melissa O'Dell (301) 734-5222
Angela Harless (202) 720-4623
WASHINGTON, July 30, 2007--Bruce Knight, undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's marketing and regulatory programs mission area, today announced the appointment of Cindy Smith as the new acting administrator for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
“Cindy has been an integral part of the APHIS team for many years, and I am pleased that she has accepted this position,” said Knight. “Her leadership and management experience are extremely valuable as APHIS continues to carry out its mission of protecting the health and value of American agriculture and its natural resources.”
As acting administrator, Smith will manage one of USDA's most multi-faceted agencies, which includes programs that are critical to the protection of America's livestock, plants and food supply. Smith is acting as a replacement for Dr. Ron DeHaven, who will retire on Aug. 3, after 28 years with APHIS. DeHaven served as administrator since 2004.
Smith began her career with APHIS in 1979 after graduating high school. Throughout her years, Smith has gained diverse experience through a number of different positions, including plant protection and quarantine, wildlife services (WS) and biotechnology regulatory services (BRS).
Since April, Smith has been APHIS' associate administrator. Before that, beginning in 2002, she served as deputy administrator for BRS and played a major role in shaping the agency's biotechnology regulatory structure, establishing more rigorous requirements for field tests of genetically engineered crops and initiating efforts to review and strengthen the agency's overarching biotechnology regulations. From 2001 to 2002, Smith was the associate deputy administrator for WS, which provides federal leadership and expertise in resolving conflicts caused by wildlife.
In 1983, Smith completed her bachelor of science degree in microbiology from the University of Maryland. She went on to earn her master of science degree in business management from the University of Maryland in 2000.
A native Marylander, Smith resides with her husband in Woodstock, Md., close to her family that includes six children and three grandchildren.
Note to Reporters: USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are available on the Internet. Go to the APHIS news release page at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom. Also, anyone with an e-mail address can sign up to receive APHIS press releases automatically. Send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org and leave the subject blank. In the message, type subscribe press_releases.