Wednesday, February 21, 2024

USDA announces new food safety leaders

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has named Carmen Rottenberg as acting deputy undersecretary for food safety and Paul Kiecker as acting administrator of the USDA’s Food Safety & Inspection Service.

Rottenberg succeeds FSIS Administrator Al Almanza who is retiring after 39 years of service to FSIS.

In his position as acting deputy undersecretary Rottenberg oversees development, implementation and enforcement of all of FSIS’ regulations, policies and programs.

This appointment follows nearly six years in leadership roles in the FSIS Office of the Administrator, including serving as the chief of staff, the chief operating officer and, most recently, the deputy administrator.

In those leadership roles, Rottenberg executed a budget of over $1 billion, prioritizing resources and resolving disputes, advancing the agency’s vision and goals, and leading innovative solutions to challenges in FSIS.

She has spearheaded strategic planning at FSIS and implemented two major reorganizations leading to a more streamlined, efficient agency better positioned to carry out its food safety mission.

Rottenberg joined FSIS as an Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist in 2007, and went on to become the deputy director of the civil rights staff.

She began her federal government career in the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of General Counsel, and prior to joining FSIS, was a law clerk at a small law firm in Fairfax, Va. Rottenberg holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science and philosophy from Hope College in Holland, Mich., and a juris doctor degree from American University’s Washington College of Law.

Kiecker has had a 29 year career with FSIS.

Since joining FSIS in 1988 as a food inspector, Kiecker has served in a number of roles at the agency. Most recently, he served as deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Field Operations (OFO).

He came to Washington, D.C. to serve as executive associate for regulatory operations, after serving as the district manager in Springdale, Ark., and Madison, Wis., as well as deputy district manager in Madison, Wis. His experience with FSIS also includes work with the Office of Investigation, Enforcement, and Audit (OIEA), where he has served as a compliance investigator and as supervisory compliance officer.

In his various positions with FSIS, Kiecker has played a role in leading external coordination with other federal agencies, state and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, international organizations, and law enforcement agencies. He has also had oversight responsibility for strategic planning, policy formulation and implementation, budget development and execution, human resource management and day-to-day inspection operations.

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