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Xochitl Torres Small

Under Secretary for Rural Development

Before coming to Rural Development, Xochitl was a United States Representative for the fifth largest district in the country. In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, Xochitl kept a rural hospital from closing its doors, improved constituent access to healthcare over the phone, and helped secure tens of millions of dollars for broadband in New Mexico through USDA’s ReConnect Program.
Meet our Under Secretary

Justin Maxson

Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development

Prior to being named Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development, Justin served six years as Chief Executive Officer at the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation. The Foundation works to support moving people and places out of poverty across the South.

Meet our Deputy Under Secretary

Farah Ahmad

Chief of Staff for Rural Development

Farah Ahmad has spent her career advancing policies and programs that promote economic inclusion and opportunity. She currently serves as the Chief of Staff for USDA Rural Development. From 2015 through 2017, Ms. Ahmad served as a Program Manager with the Rural Business-Cooperative Service’s Community and Economic Development program.
Meet our Chief of Staff

Dr. Basil Gooden

Director of State Operations for Rural Development

Dr. Gooden recently served as a Visiting Scholar in the Sustainable Food Access Core of the Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry and Innovation (iCubed) at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Meet our Director of State Operations

State Leadership

At the state level and in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Rural Development leadership consists of one state director. In a few cases, leadership of several adjoining states is provided by a single State Director.