Ann Veneman was raised in Modesto, CA. She attended the University of California-Davis and earned a bachelors degree in political science. She then earned a masters degree at the University of California-Berkley and a doctorate from the University California, Hastings College of Law. In 1986 she joined the USDAs Foreign Agriculture Service and served as Associate Administrator until 1989. From 1989-1991 She served as Deputy Undersecretary of Agriculture for International Affairs and Commodity Programs. While serving she managed international issues such as: trade policy, trade negotiations, and food aid. From 1991-1993 she served as Deputy of Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). She was the second-ranking person at the USDA where she directed and oversaw the activities of the USDA and its 42 agencies. Appointed by Governor Wilson in 1995, Veneman is the first woman to be appointed to this position. She directs the state agency, regulating the largest agricultural economy in our nation with an annual budget of $194 million and 1,800 employees.
She was involved in the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations, NAFTA, and the U.S*-Canada Free Trade Agreement. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Farm Foundation and the Close-up Foundation. She is a member of the International Policy Council on Agriculture, Food and Trade, and many other organizations. When not serving in government roles, Veneman has worked as a practicing attorney for Patton Boggs, LLP, in Washington, DC, and Damrell, Nelson, Schrimp, Pallios & Ladine in Modesto, CA.
Due with her background in international trade, Veneman made it her priority to expand global opportunities for California agriculture. She focused her efforts on making the CDFA more efficient and competitive. Under her leadership, California was recognized for pioneering partnerships in the development of food safety quality assurance plans. She has also worked to increase consumer awareness about the importance of agriculture in California through widespread outreach efforts.
Veneman has now been chosen to serve as Agriculture Secretary in President Bushs cabinet. She was the co-chair of his campaign in California and was Deputy Agriculture Secretary for the former President Bush. She was a former lobbyist for Dole Corporation and a NAFTA negotiator.
Chin, Larry. Bushs Cabinet of Spooks. http://www.onlinejournal.com/Special_Reports/
Chin122100/chin122100.html December 21, 2000, January 19, 2001.
Our People-Ann M. Veneman, Partner. http://www.ngke.com/veneman.htm January 19, 2001