Yesterday, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of two new appointments to assist with achieving the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) food safety goals.

Carmen Rottenberg will be the Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety. In her role, Carmen will be responsible for the development, implementation, and enforcement of all of Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulations, policies, and programs. She has served a number of roles with FSIS--including Chief of Staff, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Administrator--over the last 6 years.  Carmen earned a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from Hope College in Holland, MI and a law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law.

Paul Kiecker will be the Acting Administrator for the Food Safety and Inspection Service. He has been with FSIS for 29 years, starting as a food inspector in 1988. His most recent role within FSIS was as Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Field Operations. Paul’s experience and responsibilities have ranged from strategic planning, policy formulation and implementation and budget development and execution to human resource management, and day-to-day inspection operations.

Perdue says, “Ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply is our most important responsibility, and it’s one we undertake with great seriousness. Both Carmen and Paul have dedicated their careers to the mission of food safety and I am pleased to have appointed them to these important roles within the USDA. I commend the work of the entire USDA’s food safety team for painstakingly safeguarding the food we serve our families every single day."

The roles now assumed by Carmen and Paul were most recently held by Al Almanza, who just retired from USDA on Monday. Both Rottenberg and Kiecker will serve in their respective capacities until presidential nominees are confirmed by the Senate for those roles.

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