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. From 2016-2018, he served as the 3rd Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Prior to that, Dr. Gooden served as the Virginia State Director for Rural Development at USDA. He has previously held roles as the Chief Deputy Director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, as an Extension Specialist in Community Vitality at Virginia Tech, and as a County Committee Advisor for the Buckingham/Cumberland County, USDA-Farm Service Agency. Dr. Gooden holds a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech, a master’s degree in Social Work from Syracuse University, and a master’s degree in Public Health and a Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a native of Buckingham County, Virginia, where he and his family still own and operate a cattle farm.