Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced Claudette Fernandez will serve as the Chief Innovation Officer of the Rural Development Innovation Center.
Fernandez has more than 15 years of experience in community economic development. At the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Fernandez most recently served as Director of Strategic Innovation for the Innovation Center. Before that, she served as Assistant Administrator for Rural Development’s Water and Environmental Programs. Fernandez has also served as Deputy Administrator for Business Programs as well as Director of Community Economic Development. Prior to joining USDA, she served as Senior Program Manager at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
As Chief Innovation Officer, Fernandez will lead USDA Rural Development to identify best practices and bring continuous improvement in program delivery to enhance the quality of life in rural communities.
USDA encourages partners and stakeholder groups to reach out to Fernandez in her new role to build on existing partnerships and facilitate new relationships.