Carmen Rottenberg has been appointed as the administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), while Paul Kiecker has been named the deputy administrator.

Both appointments were announced on May 11 by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

“Providing all Americans access to a safe and secure food supply is one of USDA’s critical missions,” said Secretary Perdue. “Carmen and Paul have been instrumental in carrying out this mission and will continue to lead FSIS in their new roles.”

Carmen Rottenberg, FSIS administrator

Rottenberg most recently served as deputy administrator for FSIS, and since August 2017, as acting deputy under secretary for USDA’s Office of Food Safety. 

She has held several leadership roles in FSIS’s Office of the Administrator, including the chief operating officer and chief of staff. In these roles, she has spearheaded FSIS efforts to modernize inspection systems and implement science-based and innovative solutions to better protect consumers from foodborne illnesses, according to a press release from Perdue’s office. Through her leadership, she has ensured that FSIS programs are customer-focused and delivered efficiently, effectively and with integrity.


Rottenberg holds a bachelor’s degree from Hope College and a juris doctorate from American University. She will continue to serve as acting deputy under secretary for Food Safety until a nominee for this position has been confirmed by the Senate.

Paul Kiecker, FSIS deputy administrator

Kiecker has been serving as acting administrator for FSIS since August 2017.

Paul Kiecker | Photo courtesy of USDA

In this role, he has led and strategically guided FSIS’s mission-critical programs aimed at protecting public health. He came to this position with decades of experience in the field and on the front lines of food safety, having begun his career as a food inspector. He has held numerous leadership positions within FSIS, including as a district manager, executive associate for regulatory operations and most recently as deputy assistant administrator for FSIS’s Office of Field Operations.