Elizabeth Johnson, designated by President Bush as
acting under secretary of agriculture for food safety when Richard Raymond
retired Oct. 1 (See White
House names acting head of FSIS as Raymond departs, Meatingplace.com,
Sept. 25, 2008.), has left USDA to become executive vice president of
public affairs for the National Restaurant Association.
Johnson's departure, effective Dec. 5, leaves the post vacant until
President-elect Barack Obama's administration names a new food safety
FSIS spokeswoman Amanda Eamich told Meatingplace.com
the agency will be steered in the interim by existing USDA officials,
including Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Scott Hurd
and FSIS Administrator Alfred Almanza.
Obama has yet to name his agriculture secretary. The list of speculated
names is still long, but some Washington
insiders now point to Rep. John Salazar (D-Colo.)
as a front runner.