Hazlett leaves USDA for drug policy role at White House | TSLN.com

Hazlett leaves USDA for drug policy role at White House

Anne Hazlett, who has been Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s assistant for rural development, is leaving USDA to become the senior adviser for rural affairs in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Hazlett assumed the position of special assistant when the Trump administration decided to abolish the position of Agriculture undersecretary for rural development. But Congress did not like that decision, and in the 2018 farm bill ordered the administration to reestablish the position.

In a news release today, Perdue named Rural Housing Service Administrator Joel Baxley as acting assistant for rural development, and said he is working with the White House to identify a candidate for nomination for the undersecretary position.

In her work as assistant to the secretary for rural development, Hazlett has spent much of her time working on the opioid crisis in rural America, although she also made many of the administration’s announcements on other rural development programs.

In her new role, Hazlett will help shape policy aimed at improving the quality of life in rural America, coordinate interagency efforts on drug control activity impacting rural communities, and build coalitions and grassroots strategies in these areas centered on prevention, treatment and recovery, USDA said in a news release.

“Rural communities across the United States have been particularly hard hit by our nation’s addiction crisis,” ONDCP Director Jim Carroll said.

“Anne has a critical understanding of the unique challenges facing these communities and is committed to helping them reverse the effects of the opioid epidemic. We are looking forward to her joining our team as we build a stronger, healthier, drug-free society today and in the years to come.”

“During her time at USDA, Anne has been a tireless and proven leader in addressing the needs of rural communities struggling with substance misuse,” Perdue said.

“With her love of people and passion for bringing hope to small towns impacted by this epidemic, Anne is perfectly suited for this important role. We are proud to see her take on this new opportunity where she can focus on building healthy and prosperous communities.”

“Anne has been an incredibly active and effective member of the opioids cabinet on behalf of USDA to increase awareness and action in rural America,” Senior Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway said.

“Her dedication, experience and passion are assets she will bring to the team at the Office of National Drug Control Policy. I look forward to continuing our work together in Anne’s new role within the executive office of the president.”

–The Hagstrom Report