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Source: USDA news release

Washington -The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the names of individuals who will hold key staff positions in Washington, D.C.

Cindy Long was appointed Administrator for the Food and Nutrition Service.

Long most recently served as Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Acting Administrator, and has had extensive experience with FNS, including serving as Deputy Administrator for Child Nutrition Programs. In this role, she led FNS' implementation of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, the most significant restructuring of these programs in decades and a legislative centerpiece of the Obama-Biden Administration's nutrition initiatives.

Previously, she held various other program management and research positions in FNS. Long has a MPA in public policy and economics from Princeton University's School of Public and International Affairs, and a B.A. in economics from the University of Notre Dame.

Claudette Fernandez will serve as Director of Program Equity and Opportunity Strategy for USDA.

Most recently, Fernandez served as the Chief Operating Officer for the U.S. Forest Service where she oversaw the largest business operations at USDA including oversight of the Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers. She previously served as Director for the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs Office of Block Grant Assistance and prior to that, she held several roles with USDA Rural Development and with FEMA at the Department of Homeland Security.

Her experience in local government with South Georgia Regional Development Center and Prince George's County Department of Housing & Community Development remain a centering force that has focused her career on creating economic opportunity for those most in need. Fernandez holds a B.A. in political science and a MPA in public administration from Valdosta State University and a Master of Engineering Science in Emergency Management from George Washington University.

Flix Muiz Jr. was appointed Legislative Advisor in the Office of Congressional Relations.

Muiz previously served as the Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee Staff Director for the House Committee on Agriculture. Prior to his time with the Committee, he served as a Legislative Assistant and Graduate Fellow with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in the office of former Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio. Muiz was raised in Northeast, Ohio and received his B.A. and M.A. in history from Bowling Green State University.

"As we continue our efforts to feed the hungry, advance equity through our programs and investments, and work in partnership with Congress to best serve our country, the experience, and dedication Cindy, Claudette and Flix bring to these roles will only further the good work underway at USDA," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

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