WASHINGTON D.C. – Daniel Whitley was appointed the new administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) after serving as the agency’s acting administrator since December 2020.

Whitley's career at FAS spans 20 years, during which he served in various positions. Most recently, he was responsible for leading the FAS trade policy and market analysis teams as Associate Administrator.

Before joining FAS, Whitley worked with USDA’s Economic Research Service, focusing on market access issues in the World Trade Organization. Later in his career with USDA, Whitley held leadership positions including Deputy Administrator of the Office of Global Analysis and director of the Office of Civil Rights.

Whitley holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degrees in agricultural economics and is a graduate of Southern University and A&M College and Louisiana State University.

“I am deeply humbled by this opportunity, but I think it is more a reflection of all your hard work during my time as Acting Administrator than any personal achievements,” Whitley said. “I know that together, we will continue to meet future challenges from bringing staff back to the physical workplace and navigating the latest trade landscape to finding new ways to support farmers and ranchers and delivering on Administration priorities.”

Pet Food Institute (PFI) commended Whitley’s appointment and commented on how the organization looks forward to working with him to expand international market access for US pet food producers.

“Whether it’s engaging importing country officials to obtain release of a detained shipment, managing the programs that create demand for US products or negotiating expanded foreign market access for US dog and cat food, FAS plays a critical role in facilitating exports,” said Peter Tabor, vice president of regulatory and international affairs at PFI. “We are grateful to Secretary Vilsack for permanently appointing Daniel to lead FAS. Daniel is an experienced and capable leader, and we look forward to working with him and his excellent team at FAS to secure and expand market access for US pet food.”

United States pet food exports reached $1.7 billion in 2020, according to PFI, with Canada, Japan and Mexico representing the three largest markets for this sector.

Read more about personnel changes throughout the industry.