The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has promoted Alfred V. Almanza to the position of deputy under secretary for food safety. This is a newly-created position in the Office of Food Safety, where Brian Ronholm will also remain on board as deputy under secretary for food safety.
Almanza is well known as a USDA official, having served as administrator of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) since 2007. In that position, he led FSIS and its more than 9,500 employees in their mission of protecting public health through food safety and food defense. During his time with FSIS, Almanza has worked diligently to foster productive relationships with the National Joint Council of Food Inspection Locals and other public health partners. He has advocated and led agency efforts to improve communication and collaboration with all food safety stakeholders, from more effective coordination with domestic and international food safety regulators to targeted consumer and industry outreach. He is credited with making several critical changes to agency policy to better ensure mission success and effective use of agency resources. For example, he promoted and implemented a national management control system that strengthened the agency's ability to monitor, detect and respond to threats to public health, dramatically improving management oversight of FSIS inspection and enforcement activity
Almanza began his FSIS career in 1978 as a food inspector in a small processing plant in Dalhart, Texas. Since that time, he held a number of positions with the agency, including as a district manager from 2004-2007.