By Jennifer Dorsett
Field Editor

President Donald Trump today announced the selection of Dr. Mindy Brashears as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) under secretary for Food Safety.

The position requires Senate confirmation.

“Dr. Brashears has long been recognized as a key expert in her field,” Texas Farm Bureau Director of Government Affairs Regan Beck said. “She has established herself as a leader in food safety through her work at Texas Tech University, and we know she’s going to continue growing her reputation for excellence and dedication to ensuring Americans have access to the safest food supply in the world.”

Brashears is the director of the International Center for Food Industry Excellence at Texas Tech University. She is a professor of food safety and public health and is the holder of 19 U.S. patents and patents pending related to food safety and solving industry problems surrounding the issue. Brashears is also the co-founder of two companies relating back to her research.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued a statement following the announcement, applauding the president’s choice.

“Food safety is at the core of USDA’s mission, because it directly affects the health and well-being of millions of Americans every day,” Perdue said. “President Trump has made an excellent choice in Dr. Mindy Brashears, and I am excited to have her join the team. Dr. Brashears has spent decades finding ways to improve food safety standards through innovation, invention and leadership on research missions across the globe. I look forward to her bringing that wealth of expertise and track record of results here to USDA.”

Brashears, who has been with Texas Tech for 20 years, is also a faculty member on the Texas Tech Center for Biodefense, Law and Public Policy in the Texas Tech School of Law. She also leads international research teams to Mexico, Central and South America to improve food safety and security and to establish sustainable agricultural systems in impoverished areas. She is the former chair of the National Alliance for Food Safety and Security and of the USDA multi-state research group.

The department still has unfilled positions for undersecretaries for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services and for Research, Education and Economics.