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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Announcing Changes to the APHIS, Plant Protection and Quarantine Leadership

Dear Stakeholders,

I want to share important changes to the APHIS, Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Management Team. Samantha (Sam) Simon has joined the Office of the Deputy Administrator as the Associate Deputy Administrator for PPQ, and Calvin Shuler has been selected as the Executive Director for Field Operations.  

Since 2019, Sam has led Emergency and Domestic Programs (EDP), first as Executive Director and then as Associate Deputy Administrator for EDP. In these roles, Sam was responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing domestic plant pest and emergency response programs. She also served as PPQ’s representative on the APHIS Emergency Preparedness Committee.

Before joining PPQ, Sam served as the USDA Senior Invasive Species Coordinator for 2 years. She collaborated with numerous USDA agencies and other Federal Departments on invasive species issues and served as the USDA liaison to the National Invasive Species Council, supporting the Secretary in his role as a Council member. Her career with USDA began in 1997. Over the years, she’s held leadership positions within the Agricultural Marketing Service’s Livestock and Seed Program; the former Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration’s Federal Grain Inspection Service; and APHIS’ Biotechnology Regulatory Services.

Sam is from Iowa and earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Animal Science and Agricultural Business at Iowa State University. She lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with her husband, son, and daughter.

Calvin has deep roots in PPQ. He began working here as a GS-04 student trainee on the witchweed eradication program in 1987 and moved up to become a PPQ Officer after graduating from Campbell University in 1989. He started working as a Canine Officer in 1993 based in Charlotte, NC, and eventually became the Regional Canine Coordinator in 1995. Two years later, he became a Regional Program Manager based in Gulfport, MS, and then the Senior Regional Program Manager for Risk Management, including Agricultural Quarantine Inspection in 2003. Since 2015, Calvin has served as Associate Executive Director based in Raleigh, NC, for District 5, Pest Detection, Farm Bill/PPA 7721, and Emergency Management. Additionally, Calvin acted as the Executive Director for Field Operations (FO) from January 2021 to August 2021.

While Calvin’s career has been focused on FO, he has served in other parts of PPQ in various acting roles, such as National Canine Program Manager of the National Detector Dog Training Center, and Director of Quarantine, Policy, Analysis, and Support. From March 2020 to December 2020, he served as PPQ COVID-19 Incident Commander.

Calvin and his wife, Rhonda, live outside of Raleigh. They enjoy spending time with their new granddaughter, Avery, and their son Taylor and his wife, Natalie. Calvin and his family enjoy fishing and camping.

Finally, as part of these changes, I want to express my appreciation to Dr. Matthew (Matt) Royer. Matt has served as the Associate Deputy Administrator for PPQ and for Business Employee Services (BES) since January 2021. Matt will continue as the Associate Deputy Administrator for BES, now able to focus solely on the strategic and operational business needs for PPQ.

I am confident Sam and Calvin will both continue their strong leadership and dedication to plant health, and I look forward to working with them as members of the management team to ensure PPQ continues to be successful.


Dr. Mark L Davidson
Deputy Administrator
Plant Protection and Quarantine

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit

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