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Former VSU Dean of Agriculture nominated to Cabinet position

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Posted at 12:12 PM, Jan 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-18 12:18:42-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA. -- President-elect Joe Biden has appointed former Virginia State University Dean of the College of Agriculture, Dr. Jewel H. Bronaugh to serve as Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

If the nomination is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Bronaugh would be the second-highest ranking official in the USDA and run the day-to-day operations of the almost 100,000 employee Department.

Dr. Bronaugh, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University and a master’s degree from Virginia Tech, began her career at VSU in 2001.

After serving as Dean of VSU’s College of Agriculture for five years, she served as the Executive Director to VSU’s Center for Agricultural Research, Engagement and Outreach.

“Dr. Bronaugh brings an unparalleled skill set and an abundance of knowledge to this critical position. She knows agriculture, the 1890s Land Grant system and understands the importance of our mission. We look forward to supporting her and working with her to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century,” said VSU President Dr. Makola M. Abdullah.

Most recently, Bronaugh has served as Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services since May 2018.

Governor Ralph Northam commended Biden's appointment of Bronaugh.

“As Commissioner of VDACS, Dr. Bronaugh has been a true leader—promoting the agency’s core mission while taking on new challenges, including our COVID-19 pandemic response and farmer mental health, focusing economic development to improve food access in underserved communities, and engaging youth in the field of agriculture,” said Governor Northam. “I am proud that she will be representing the both the Commonwealth and all Americans in such a critical role at USDA and in this new Administration.”

Dr. Bronaugh is one of five women nominated Monday by the Biden Administration to serve in the Cabinet.

Pending Senate conformation, Bronaugh will become the first African American Deputy Secretary of Agriculture.