Veneman, Ann M.
Veneman was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate and sworn in as the 27th U.S. Secretary of Agriculture on January 20, 2001. A lawyer and daughter of peach farmers, Veneman served as California's agriculture secretary from 1995 to 1999. From 1991 to 1993, Veneman was Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. From 1989 to 1991, Veneman served as Deputy Under Secretary of Agriculture for International Affairs and Commodity Programs. She joined the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service in 1986 and served as Associate Administrator until 1989. Veneman was actively involved in the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations, NAFTA, and the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement. Raised in Modesto, California, Veneman earned her bachelor's degree in political science from the University of California at Davis, and a master's degree in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley, and a juris doctorate degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law.