Kathleen Merrigan is Professor and Executive Director of the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems at Arizona State University. From 2009 to 2013, Merrigan was deputy secretary and COO of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where she led efforts to support local food systems and managed USDA’s $150 billion budget. She is known for authoring the law that established national standards for organic food and the federal definition of sustainable agriculture. Merrigan is a board member of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, a Trustee of CIFOR-ICRAF and an advisor to Astanor Ventures, Heartland Health Research Alliance, and the Organic Farming Research Foundation. Merrigan holds a PhD in Public Policy and Environmental Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Master of Public Affairs from University of Texas at Austin, and BA from Williams College.