Secretary Tom Vilsack
Tom Vilsack will take over as president and c.e.o. of the U.S. Dairy Export Council on Feb. 1.

ARLINGTON, VA.  — Tom Vilsack, who stepped down as secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this month, will take over as president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Dairy Export Council on Feb. 1. He will provide leadership and oversight of the council’s global promotional and research activities, regulatory affairs and trade policy initiatives.

“Growing the global market for U.S. dairy products is essential to the future of the dairy industry and America’s dairy farmers,” Mr. Vilsack said when the appointment was announced Jan. 17. “I’ve spent my career in public service as a tireless advocate for farmers and American agriculture and can think of no better way to continue this service than by leading the U.S. Dairy Export Council.”

Tom Suber
Tom Suber, former president of the U.S. Dairy Export Council

Mr. Vilsack will succeed Tom Suber, who was president of the council from when it was founded in 1995 until he retired at the end of 2016. Under his leadership, global U.S. dairy exports rose to a high of 15.5% of U.S. milk production from the equivalent of about 5%.

Mr. Vilsack began serving as U.S.D.A. secretary under the Obama administration in January 2009. He received a law degree from Albany Law School in Albany, N.Y., in 1975 and later served two terms as governor of Iowa.

Thomas Gallagher, Dairy Management
Thomas Gallagher, c.e.o. of Dairy Management Inc.

“Secretary Vilsack’s impressive record of leadership and his proven ability to manage complex issues, combined with his breadth and depth of industry knowledge, made him the preeminent choice to take the helm of U.S.D.E.C.,” said Thomas Gallagher, c.e.o. of Dairy Management Inc., the umbrella organization that represents the broad interests of U.S. dairy and founded the U.S.D.E.C. in 1995.

The U.S.D.E.C. has more than 100 dairy industry, dairy exporter and affiliated entity members.