US Secretary of Agriculture
Tom Vilsack is US secretary of agriculture. In January 2016, President Obama appointed him to lead an interagency effort to combat rural America’s epidemic of prescription opioid and heroin abuse. In this role and as chair of the White House Rural Council, Vilsack is galvanizing stakeholders to provide solutions and resources, increasing awareness and decreasing stigma around substance-use disorder, and leveraging USDA’s relationship to rural America with a series of town hall events in the hardest hit regions to draw attention to the crisis and catalyze action and solutions. Vilsack was previously a two-term governor of Iowa, served in the Iowa State Senate, and was mayor of Mount Pleasant, Iowa.