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Obama's Cabinet
Agriculture Secretary - Tom Vilsack
12.19.08, 04:32 PM CST
16 of 18
‹‹ Interior Secretary - Ken Salazar Transportation Secretary - Ray LaHood ››

Tom Vilsack, 58, former Governor of Iowa, was selected by the President-Elect to be his Agriculture Secretary. Vilsack strongly supports government initiatives to promote renewable energy and alternative fuels. Both Obama and Vilsack are steadfast supporters of the increasingly controversial use of ethanol and other bio-fuels used to lesson America’s dependence on foreign oil.

Vilsack served two terms as Governor of Iowa, the first beginning in 1998. He was the second Democrat to officially announce he was running for President in the 2008 election (he did so as early as November 2006) but withdrew less than three months later citing a lack of fundraising as his chief problem. He endorsed Hillary Clinton for President shortly after and was named the national co-chair for her presidential campaign.

Vilsack was elected to Iowa’s governorship after Republican Terry Branstad ended his sixteen year stint as Governor. Vilsack became the first Democratic Governor of Iowa in 30 years. He served as chair of the Democratic Governors Association in 2004.

Among Vilsack’s policies was creating the Grow Iowa Values Fund, a $503 million which gave grants to initiatives and corporations who would create higher paying jobs. Critics of the program stated the program unfairly favored out of state corporations and did not help new businesses.

Vilsack has recently worked at the law firm Dorsey & Whitney and was a political fellow at the Kennedy School of Government.

‹‹ Interior Secretary - Ken Salazar Transportation Secretary - Ray LaHood ››