USDA appoints Jekanowski, Wu to leadership positions

By Erin Voegele | March 26, 2020

The USDA in March announced the appointment of Mark Jekanowski as chairman of the World Agricultural Outlook Board and David Wu as deputy assistant secretary for administration.

Jekanowski currently serves as acting board chairman and will assume his new duties on March 29. He will be responsible for leading the development and release of the USDA’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. He will also serve as program chairman for USDA’s largest annual meeting, the Agricultural Outlook Forum.

Jekanowski joined the World Agricultural Outlook board in 2019 as deputy chairman. He previously worked at the USDA’s Economic Research Service, where he first served as chief of the Crop Branch, and later as deputy director for the ERS commodity outlook program. He also previously served as senior vice president and head of the Washington office of Informa Economics.

Jekanowski succeeds Seth Myer, who left USDA in July 2019 after serving as chairman of the World Agricultural Outlook Board for five years.

“Dr. Jekanowski brings to this leadership position extensive experience in domestic and global agricultural commodity markets and deep understanding of the World Agricultural Board and its unique mission,” said Robert Johansson, chief economist of the USDA.

Wu joined the USDA in October 2019 as the principal deputy assistant secretary for administration. He previously served as the director of business innovations and process improvements for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services in Kentucky. He also has private sector experience in finance, journalism and start-ups and previously served as policy director for former Indian Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Wu replaces Done Bice, who has served as deputy assistant secretary for administration since February 2018 and led department administration since September 2017.

“Don Bice has played a critical role in ensuring USDA is the most efficient, effective, customer focused agency in the federal government. He has made great strides in the modernization of the Department and has carried out our vision with dedication and passion. I thank Don for his service on behalf of the American people and wish him well in the future,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “David Wu’s extensive experience and expertise make him a perfect fit for this role. I am confident that with David Wu’s leadership, USDA will continue to carry out our mission to provide the American people with the best customer service in the federal government.”