The Trump Administration has been admittedly understaffed as appointments to key positions have taken more time than in the past. However, cabinet secretaries are filling in the gaps. The latest news is from USDA with the announcement of five new leaders for the agencies Departmental Administration.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue noted that one of his top priorities has been to make the agency "the more effective, most efficient and best managed department in the entire federal government." He noted that these new hires represent people who have demonstrated "dynamic, innovative organizational leadership, and I know we can count on them to put that skill and talent to work on behalf of USDA's customers, the farmers, rangers, foresters and agricultural producers of America."
Here's a rundown of the new team members announced by Perdue:
Donald Bice, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration
Bice has been USDA’s Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration since September 2017. Prior to serving in this capacity, he was Associate Director of USDA’s Office of Budget and Program Analysis and the Performance Improvement Officer. As the Associate Director, Bice was responsible for managing the development and execution of the department’s budget, managing regulatory and legislative reporting processes, and coordinating performance improvement activities. From 2007 through February 2011, Bice served as the Deputy Director for Budget, Legislative, and Regulatory Systems in the same office.
Gary Washington, Chief Information Officer
Washington, who formerly served as the Chief Information Officer for the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, has been the Acting CIO since September 2017. Washington also has served as CIO and Director of the Information Technology Division for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Prior to his appointments as the CIO of USDA, APHIS and NRCS, Washington was a portfolio manager in the Electronic Government Office in the Executive Office of the President-Office of Management and Budget, where he was responsible for managing the Internal Effectiveness and Efficiency portfolio. Additionally, Washington managed the financial management, human resources and infrastructure lines of business, and the E-gov initiatives.
Mary Pletcher, Chief Human Capital Officer
Pletcher will be joining USDA February 5, 2018. She previously served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Capital and Diversity for the Department of the Interior. As the Chief Human Capital Officer for Interior, Pletcher provided leadership and executive oversight for the department’s human capital programs, including human resources; civil rights; employee and organization development; and occupational safety and health. Prior to this role, Pletcher served as the Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget, supporting the Assistant Secretary of Interior in the implementation of management initiatives and transformation efforts. She has also served as Acting Director and Deputy Director of the Interior Business Center, Deputy Recovery Act Coordinator for Interior, and the department’s capital planning and investment control program manager.
George Cabaniss, Senior Procurement Executive
Cabaniss joined USDA in August as the Senior Procurement Executive and Director of the Office of Procurement and Property Management. He has been a member of the Senior Executive Service since 2011. Cabaniss has a diverse background with over 30 years of federal and private sector experience. Prior to joining the OneUSDA team, he led 2,500 contracting professionals located at more than 30 offices across the United States in supporting veterans as the Deputy Chief Procurement Officer for the Veterans Health Administration. His first SES appointment was as the Deputy to the Commanding General for the Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command. As the command’s senior civilian, he led some 1,200 civilian and 500 soldiers assigned to more than 30 contracting offices across the United States in providing contracting support to Army soldiers, families, and civilians. Prior to his SES appointment, Cabaniss held contracting leadership positions with several Army and Navy commands as well as with the General Services Administration.
Joseph Doyle, Secretary’s Customer Service Coordinator
Joe Doyle joins USDA having spent a long career at the intersection of customers and employees, both as the owner of a successful 240-store retail chain in Georgia and through his transformative work in Georgia state government. Doyle led the Office of Customer Service for the State of Georgia when Secretary Perdue was governor. His work was nationally praised for building and championing a customer-first attitude in employees.