Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner has announced the Jan 3, 2008 retirement of USDA Chief Economist Keith Collins and the appointment of Deputy Chief Economist Joseph Glauber as acting chief economist.
Glauber is currently on detail to the office of the U.S. Trade Representative and serving as special Doha agricultural envoy. He is expected to assume the duties of chief economist full-time beginning in mid-December.
"Keith Collins has been a cornerstone of the strength of USDA. His distinguished service to agriculture has brought incisive analysis to inform USDA decisions made on behalf of America's farmers and ranchers. Keith will be greatly missed by many and I wish him well in retirement," Conner said. "We are fortunate to have someone as talented as Joe Glauber ready to assume a more prominent leadership role. Having served as deputy chief economist for 15 years, Joe is well-prepared for the demands of the post and well-respected throughout American agriculture. The valued contributions of both economists are innumerable. USDA has benefited enormously from their insight and analysis," said Conner.
Collins has served as USDA chief economist for the past 15 years overseeing USDA's program of market forecasts and projections. Collins' 32 years of federal service has included leadership with wide-ranging impact in the economic analysis of agricultural policy, energy and bioproducts, risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis, and global climate change.
Collins has also served as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation for the past 7 years and chairman and vice-chairman of the USDA Graduate School.
His key roles in USDA farm bill activities began with the 1985 farm bill and continued with frequent testimony on behalf of USDA in congressional hearings and briefings.
Glauber, USDA deputy chief economist, returns to USDA in December from temporary assignment to the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and will retain his role as special Doha agricultural envoy for the United States.
Glauber has served as deputy chief economist at USDA since 1992. In addition to his work in the Doha negotiations, he served as senior staff economist for agriculture, natural resources and trade at the President's Council of Economic Advisers and as an economist at the USDA Economic Research Service.
Glauber received his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin in 1984 and holds an AB in anthropology from the University of Chicago.