WASHINGTON, June 24, 2022 - Yesterday, President Joe Biden announced his intent to appoint five U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regional positions, including two Rural Development (RD) State Directors.
“Here at USDA, we continue to add experienced and talented individuals to our state offices,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “I have full confidence that each of these individuals will add knowledge and leadership to the dedicated team at the Department.”
RD State Directors serve as the chief executive officer of Rural Development in the states and territories and are tasked with carrying out the mission of Rural Development to the benefit of everyone in rural America. In conjunction with the guidance and support of the National Office, State Directors are responsible for promoting the mission and strategic goals of Rural Development and provide key leadership to develop and support a productive, diverse, and inclusive state workforce.
Lillian Salerno will be appointed RD State Director in Texas
Lillian Salerno returns to USDA as the RD State Director in Texas with over two decades of experience leading teams in government and industry. Prior to her current appointment, Salerno served in the Obama-Biden Administration for six years, first as the Rural Business Administrator and later as Deputy Undersecretary for Rural Development. As Deputy Undersecretary, Lillian was a member of the White House Rural Council where she provided a voice for rural Americans and their concerns regarding economic development, innovation, entrepreneurship and access to capital for new and beginning farmers. Lillian has a long history advocating for and protecting vulnerable populations. As a young attorney, Salerno was regularly designated as court appointed council for vulnerable and Spanish-speaking only Texans in need of an advocate. Her work experience has made her an advocate for delivering resources based on community needs. Lillian holds a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of North Texas and a Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University. She is also a graduate of the Executive Leadership Program offered by Harvard University.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.