Focus Policy Blog


Joint Center Meets with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

On June 7, the Joint Center, partnering with INSIGHT America, organized a breakfast with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

The USDA administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”), ensures nutrition for the free and reduced lunch program for schools, awards scholarship funds for students attending Historically Black Land-Grant Universities, and administers a number of housing and lending programs in rural America that shape life for African Americans and Latinos (especially in the South and Southwest). The USDA also targets a portion of its loan funds to farmers and ranchers of color, including African-Americans, AAPIs, Latinos, and Native Americans.

The U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Secretary Vilsack on January 20, 2009. Prior to his appointment, Sec. Vilsack served two terms as the 40th Governor of Iowa (1999-2007).

Meeting participants included:

Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum Director of Government Relations Amina Abbas
National Black Growers Council Executive Director Leigh Allen
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Interim President & CEO Cristina Antelo
National Newspaper Publishers Association Board Member At-Large Denise Rolark Barnes
Western Skies Strategies Associate Lia Biondo
Podesta Group Principal Paul A. Brathwaite
Communities for Just Schools Fund Executive Director Allison Brown
Honda North America Government & Industry Relations Vice President Edward Cohen
Thurgood Marshall College Fund Government Affairs Director Paris Dennard
JP Morgan Relationship Manager Rodney E. Hood
Renewable Fuels Association General Counsel Ed Hubbard
National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed OfficialsSenior Policy Analyst Erin Hustings
Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council President & CEO Kim Keenan
National Congress of American Indians Wilma Mankiller Fellow Michael LaValley
Walmart Stores, Inc. Public Affairs-Constituent Relations & Stakeholder Engagement Senior Manager Marc C. Littlejohn
Asian Pacific American Institute of Congressional Studies Program President & CEO Floyd Mori
African American Mayors Association Deputy Executive Director Everton Morris
Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies President Spencer Overton
National Action Network DC Bureau Chief Ebonie Riley
The George Washington University Law School Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Roger A. Fairfax
National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators Executive Director Kenneth Romero
National Urban League Senior Director for Policy and Legislative Affairs Susie Saavedra
INSIGHT America Co-Founder Elroy Sailor
Congressional Asian Pacific American Staff Association President Moh Sharma
Generation Opportunity Director of External Affairs Ja’Ron K. Smith
National Black Caucus of State Legislators Executive Director Roslyn Smith
PepsiCo Director of External Affairs Kenneth D. Thompson, Jr.
Citigroup Government Relations Paul N. D. Thornell
National Council of La Raza Policy Analysis Center Associate Director Samantha Vargas Poppe
Urban Institute President Sarah Wartell
Skinner Leadership Institute President Barbara Williams-Skinner
Blacks in Government National President Darlene Young
View photos here.