Expected pick for top USDA scientist is not a scientist

President Trump is expected to nominate Sam Clovis as the USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, a position that in the recent past has also served as USDA Chief Scientist. The position of Chief Scientist was established as part of the 2008 Farm Bill, and the individual is to be chosen “from among distinguished scientists with specialized or significant experience in agricultural research, education, and economics.” Clovis, who reportedly holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration, currently serves as the senior White House advisor for USDA. If nominated and confirmed by the Senate, Clovis would oversee four key research units of the USDA: the intramural Agricultural Research Service, the extramural National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the Economic Research Service, and the National Agricultural Statistics Service.