Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Sept. 26 named Alfred V. Almanza (pictured at left) to be deputy under secretary for food safety. This is a newly created position in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Office of Food Safety, where Brian Ronholm will also remain on board as deputy under secretary for food safety.

Almanza will simultaneously serve as acting administrator of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), continuing to lead nearly 10,000 employees in the agency’s mission to protect public health, according to his USDA biography. Almanza has held the post of FSIS administrator of since 2007. He began his FSIS career as a food inspector from 1978-1984, and he has held a number of positions with the agency, including as a district manager from 2004-2007.

A complete biography of Almanza is available here. Almanza's 2009 article in Food Safety Magazine, "Meeting the Challenge of E. coli O157:H7 Control Head On," may be viewed here.