Statement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Following Swearing in of Homer Wilkes, Ph.D.

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14 February 2022, Washington: Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement after the swearing in of Dr. Homer Wilkes to serve as Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment at USDA.

“I am pleased with the Senate’s confirmation of Dr. Homer Wilkes to serve as Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment. An incredible public servant, Dr. Wilkes has worked with USDA for more than 41 years heavily contributing to engineering, natural resource, and watershed projects, as well as forestry and working lands. His leadership as the Director of the Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Restoration Division, where he was responsible for the restoration of the coastal ecosystem after the BP oil spill of 2010, has prepared him well for this role. Dr. Wilkes’ confirmation is also historic, as he will be the first African American to hold the position of Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment at USDA. I look forward to working alongside him as we continue to work to increase climate resilience and advance climate-smart practices in agriculture and forestry.”

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