President George W. Bush’s first Under Secretary for Food Safety, Professor Elsa Murano, got her interview for Secretary of Agriculture Wednesday.
It’s unknown whether the former Texas A&M president met with the president-elect, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, or others from the transition team. Murano was spotted before noon at the Mar-a-Lago clubhouse, adjacent to Donald Trump’s winter residence.
Murano was USDA’s Under Secretary for Food Safety from 2001-2005.
There were other signs that Trump may be nearing a decision on who should replace Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Jan. 20.
Vilsack is the longest serving cabinet member of the Obama administration and the first to put a full eight years on the job in a half century. He is a former Iowa governor
Trump is looking at a fairly long list of candidates for the top ag job in the federal government.
Also expected to visit Mar-a-Lago this week include Texas Agriculture Commissioners Sid Miller and former California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado.
Murano, currently a professor of food safety at Texas A&M, would help Trump diversify. So far, only four of his 17 appointments have been women. None are Hispanic. As a Cuban-born woman, Murano would also bring expertise in food safety, which is one of the USDA’s principal missions.
Former Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs is also a late addition to the list of candidates. Her tenure as commissioner is remembered for removing fried foods and sugar-filled products from Texas schools before Michelle Obama took up the cause of childhood obesity
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)© Food Safety News