Industry News - AM

Vilsack names food safety advisor

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By Rita Jane Gabbett on 7/27/2009


Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced seven new staff position appointments, with titles such as senior advisors, confidential assistant or special assistant in the areas of rural development, natural resources and environment, marketing and regulatory programs and food safety.

Dr. Adela Ramos was named senior advisor for food safety. Ramos most recently worked for Senator Tom Harkin on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, where her portfolio included food safety, agricultural research, animal and plant health, and biotechnology issues.

From 2004 to 2005, she served on Senator Harkin's agriculture committee staff as a congressional science fellow sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

A native of Florida, Ramos has a doctorate in microbiology from Cornell University, where she studied plant-microbe interactions, and a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Duke University.

Other appointments included:

  • Joe Barbiero as confidential assistant for natural resources and environment
  • Jason Weller as confidential assistant for natural resources and environment
  • Sara Eckhouse as confidential assistant for marketing and regulatory programs
  • Yeshimebet Abebe as special assistant, rural utilities
  • John Padalino as special assistant, rural utilities and
  • Lisa Zaina as chief of staff, rural utilities.


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