President Biden has recycled former Obama nominee Homer Wilkes as his Undersecretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and the Environment. Dr. Wilkes’s bio is impressive:
Dr. Homer Wilkes, a native of Port Gibson, Mississippi, currently serves as Director of Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Restoration Team. He is oneof the five Federal Executive Council member to oversee the rebuilding of the Ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico after the BP Oil Spill of 2010. He served as the Acting Associate Chief of USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Washington during the period of 2010-2012. Dr. Wilkes’ tenure with the United States Department of Agriculture span’s over 41 years. During his tenure he has served as State Conservationist for Mississippi; Chief Financial Officer for NRCS in Washington, DC; Deputy State Conservationist for Mississippi; and Chief of Administrative Staff for the South Technical Center for NRCS in Fort Worth, Texas.
Dr. Wilkes also served as Naval Supply Officer in the United States Navy Reserves from November 1984 – Aprl-2007.
He received his Bachelors, Master of Business Administration, and Ph.D. in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University. He also successfully completed the USDA Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program (SES CDP) through American University’s Key Executive Leadership Certificate in Public Policy. Dr. Wilkes and his wife Kim, currently reside in Ridgeland, MS. They have three sons, Justin, Austin, and Harrison. He enjoys fishing, restoring antique vehicles and family activities.
Insofar as he has no experience with the Forest Service, which under the current organizational chart is the only agency Wilkes will oversee, does his nomination suggest that Vilsack will reunite NRCS and the Forest Service under NRE?