Eleven New Agricultural Officers Sworn into Foreign Service

  |   News Release

WASHINGTON, July 10, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Alexis M. Taylor administered the oath of office today to 11 employees of USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service who will serve American agriculture internationally as members of the Foreign Service.

At U.S. embassies and diplomatic missions on five continents, diplomats begin their careers as agricultural attachés, where they will track and report on global agricultural production and commerce, find export opportunities, improve food security, and support U.S. foreign policy goals.

"I am extremely proud of this diverse group of diplomats who completed their rigorous training and will now serve on the frontlines of agricultural diplomacy,” Taylor said. “These talented officers will strengthen our Foreign Service as they begin their work protecting and advancing the interests of U.S. agriculture, which today is more crucial than ever as the world's agricultural trade grows more competitive and dynamic.”

The officers sworn in today are:

  • Craig Elliot from Petaluma, Calif., assigned to the OAA in Tokyo, Japan.
  • Erica Summe from Florence, Ky., assigned to the OAA in Tokyo, Japan.
  • Harrison Grafos from Spokane, Wash., assigned to the OAA in Dubai, UAE.
  • Joanna Brown from Washington, D.C., assigned to the OAA in New Delhi, India.
  • Jadon Marianetti from San Jose, Calif., assigned to the OAA in Beijing, China.
  • James Yi from Philadelphia, Pa., assigned to the OAA in Hanoi, Vietnam.
  • Lita Echiverri from San Francisco, Calif., assigned to the FAS Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Mexico City, Mexico.
  • Rishan Chaudhry from Pullman, Wash., assigned to the OAA in Ankara, Turkey
  • Shoshana Griffith from Seattle, Wash., assigned to the OAA in Seoul, South Korea.
  • Tacarra Birmingham from Chicago, Ill., assigned to the FAS Office of Agricultural Affairs (OAA) in Ottawa, Canada.
  • Victoria Dokken from Deltona, Fla., assigned to the ATO in Beijing, China.

More information about FAS and its work to advance U.S. agricultural interests around the globe is available at www.fas.usda.gov.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.


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