Michael Scuse was named this week as USDA’s acting deputy secretary effective May 4. He replaces Kathleen Merrigan, who is leaving USDA today. Scuse has been serving as undersecretary for farm and foreign agricultural services (FFAS) and as a member of the board of directors of the Commodity Credit Corporation since being confirmed to that post a year ago. Before joining the Obama administration, he was Delaware agriculture secretary and served as president of the Northeast Association of State Departments of Agriculture. He farms a grain and oilseed operation in Delaware.

Darci Vetter will serve as acting undersecretary for farm and foreign agricultural services, and Suzanne Heinen will serve as acting deputy undersecretary for FFAS. Vetter has been serving as deputy undersecretary at FFAS. Before joining USDA, she was an international trade adviser on the Democratic staff of the Senate Finance Committee and spent six years at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Heinen was appointed Foreign Agricultural Service administrator last May after serving 11 months as acting administrator. Before taking on that role, she was a 25-year Foreign Service officer. Philip Karsting has been named as the new administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service. He most recently served as the chief of staff for Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) and has experience in the agriculture appropriations process.