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Gooden Confirmed as Rural Development Undersecretary

The Senate Tuesday confirmed Dr. Basil Gooden as U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Rural Development.

Dr. Gooden has served as Director of State Operations for Rural Development since July 2021, in which role he has led and supported USDA’s team of 47 Rural Development State Directors who extend USDA’s state-level leadership and help ensure the department’s investments reach all rural communities.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, “Dr. Gooden is a true asset at the People’s Department, and I look forward to continuing our work advancing and improving policies that benefit agriculture and rural America.”

House Agriculture Ranking Member David Scott added, “Dr. Gooden’s extensive experience touches on many issues important to rural communities, including affordable housing, wealth development in distressed communities, and improving infrastructure.” Gooden will fill the undersecretary position left vacant by Xochitl Torres Small, who was confirmed in July 2023 as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture.

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