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APHIS announces agency leadership changes

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The USDA has set aside $16 million in grants for pest detection and mitigation.
Dr. Alan Dowdy, associate deputy administrator for policy management in Plant Protection and Quarantine, retiring after long and dedicated federal career.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced key leadership changes this week.  

Dr. Alan Dowdy, associate deputy administrator for policy management in Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ), is retiring after a long and dedicated federal career. Dr. Matt Royer, currently PPQ’s associate deputy administrator for field operations, will succeed Dowdy as PPQ’s associate deputy administrator for policy management in PPQ.

Steve Bennett, who right now is executive director of our Emergency Management, Safety, and Security Division (EMSSD) and Investigative and Enforcement Services (IES), will move to Veterinary Services as one of the program’s associate deputy administrators.

Ibrahim Shaqir, currently Biotechnology Regulatory Services’ (BRS) associate deputy administrator, will move to PPQ as their associate deputy administrator for trade.

Jessica Mahalingappa, currently International Services’ (IS) associate deputy administrator, will join BRS as their associate deputy administrator.

Valerie Defeo, a recent Senior Executive Service (SES) Candidate Development Program (CDP) graduate who works in PPQ, will become IS’ associate deputy administrator.

Darya Chehrezad, currently a senior foreign service officer in Mexico, will begin a domestic rotation as associate deputy administrator for trade and capacity building in IS. 

Doug Nash, Marketing and Regulatory Programs Business Services’ (MRPBS) deputy administrator, is also retiring. Robert Huttenlocker will return to APHIS from USDA’s Office of the Inspector General as MRPBS’ deputy administrator, a role he previously held in 2017.  

“I want to thank each of these leaders for their dedication to APHIS and their willingness to take on these new roles,” said Kevin Shea, APHIS administrator. “I hope you’ll have the chance to meet them in the coming months.”

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