REE Biographies

Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for REE

Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young is the Acting Deputy Under Secretary for REE. Dr. Jacobs-Young recently served as ARS Associate Administrator for National Programs, where she led the Office of National Programs which manages the research objectives of the Agency. She also led the Office of International Research Programs which is responsible for ARS' liaison with its international partners. Dr. Jacobs-Young will assume her new duties effective February 23, 2014.

Prior to moving into her role at ARS, Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young served as the Director of the Office of the Chief Scientist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where she was responsible for facilitating the coordination of scientific leadership across the Department to ensure that research supported by, and scientific advice provided to, the Department and external  stakeholders were held to the highest standards of intellectual rigor and scientific integrity. She also served as the Acting Director for USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Dr. Jacobs-Young was a senior policy analyst for agriculture in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where she supported the President's science adviser and others within the Executive Office of the President on a variety of agricultural scientific activities and worked across the Federal Government to improve interagency cooperation and collaboration on high-priority scientific issues.

Dr. Jacobs-Young is a native of Georgia. She holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Wood and Paper Science and a B.S. degree in Pulp and Paper Science and Technology from North Carolina State University. She also is a graduate of American University's Executive Leadership in Public Policy Implementation Program.


Hubert Hamer, Administrator, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Hubert Hamer, Administrator, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)

Hubert Hamer, serves as Administrator of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Appointed in 2016, he brings extensive experience in all aspects of the agency’s work. Before becoming Administrator, he served as Director of the Statistics Division, which produces and releases more than 400 national statistical reports each year covering the agency’s crops, livestock, economic, demographic, environmental, and census programs. He also served as Executive Director of the NASS Agricultural Statistics Board (ASB) and Executive Director of the Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics.

From 2010 until he became head of the Statistics Division, Hamer was Chair of the Agricultural Statistics Board. As ASB Chair, he led the preparation and dissemination of market-sensitive ASB reports compiled and issued under special security conditions known as Lockup. He was also responsible for promotion and outreach of the NASS mission to all stakeholders. From May 2000 until April 2010, Hamer was NASS Associate Deputy Administrator for Field Operations, overseeing 24 state field offices as well as the Training and Career Development Office.

Since joining NASS, Hamer has served in a number of capacities both in Washington, D.C., and in the Louisiana, Illinois, and Missouri field offices. While directing the Missouri office, he completed USDA’s Senior Executive Candidate Development Program and was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 2000. Hamer completed the program for Senior Managers in Government at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2004 and completed the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Executive Potential Program in 1994. As part of the OPM program, he served as a fellow with the Senate Budget Committee and worked on the staff of the Secretary of Agriculture.

Hamer was born on a small livestock and row crop farm in Benton County, Mississippi, and later continued his development in Grand Junction, Tennessee. He is a graduate of Tennessee State University.


Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, Director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy was appointed to serve as director of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) on May 7, 2012. As part of USDA’s Research, Education, and Extension mission, he oversees NIFA awards funds for a wide range of extramural research, education, and extension projects that address the needs of farmers, ranchers, and agricultural producers.

Prior to joining NIFA, Dr. Ramaswamy served as dean of Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences and director of the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station. He provided overall leadership for the college’s academic programs at the Corvallis campus and OSU programs at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, for-credit extended education, informal education through the Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Extension Program, and research at OSU’s main campus and 11 branch experiment stations throughout the state.

Previously, Dr. Ramaswamy was associate dean of the Purdue University College of Agriculture and directed the university's agricultural research programs from 2006 to 2009. Prior to joining the Purdue faculty, Dr. Ramaswamy was head of Kansas State University’s Department of Entomology from 1997 to 2006, where he held the title of Distinguished Professor and was named the Presidential Outstanding Department Head in 2002. He also served on the faculty of Mississippi State University and as a research associate at Michigan State University. As an insect physiologist, he worked on the integrative reproductive biology of insects.

Dr. Ramaswamy has received research grants from many federal agencies, including USDA, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Environmental Protection Agency, and the United States Agency for International Development, as well as from state agencies, commodity groups, and industry. He has published nearly 150 journal articles, book chapters, and a book. He has received a number of awards and honors as a scientist and department head, including being named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Fellow of the Entomological Society of America; and Distinguished Graduate Alumnus of Cook College, Rutgers University.

He received a Bachelor of Science in agriculture and a Master of Science in entomology from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India, and his doctorate in entomology from Rutgers University. He is also a graduate of the University of Nebraska’s New Academic Chair’s Program and Harvard University’s Management Development Program.


Mary Bohman, Administrator, Economic Research Service (ERS)

Mary Bohman is Administrator of the Economic Research Service. She had recently served as Acting Administrator and had been Director of the Agency's Resource and Rural Economics Division. Mary joined ERS in 1997 and has served as Deputy Director for Research in ERS's Market and Trade Economics Division (MTED) and as Chief of MTED's Europe, Africa, and Middle East Branch. Other public-sector positions held include details to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and to USDA's Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. From 1990 to 1997 she was on the Agricultural Sciences faculty at the University of British Columbia.

Mary received her Ph.D. from the Department of Agricultural Economics, University of California, Davis and her B.S. from the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.

Mary is a member of the Agriculture & Applied Economics Association, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, Wye Group on Statistics on Rural Development and Agricultural Household Income, and the International Association of Agricultural Economists.