2018 GOVERNMENT EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR
Sonny Perdue is being recognized for his vision, energy and passion for customer experience and his dedication to improving the service that our farmers, ranchers, producers and foresters receive from the government. Sonny Perdue was born into a farming family in Georgia. From childhood and throughout his life in business and elected office, Perdue has experienced the industry from every possible perspective. He was a former farmer, agribusinessman, veterinarian, state legislator, and governor of Georgia. He is the 31st Secretary of Agriculture.
Secretary Perdue has brought many qualities to the position as Secretary of USDA, including a work ethic driven by his life on the farm and his belief that improved services to the farmers can create jobs, and produce and sell foods and fibers that feed and clothe the world, He intends to remove every obstacle that inhibits farmers, ranchers and producers from prospering. He also believes that they expect and have every right to demand that their government conduct the people’s business.
Under Secretary Perdue, the USDA will operate as a facts-based and data-driven agency, with a decision-making mindset that is customer-focused. He will seek solutions to problems and not lament that the agency might be faced with difficult challenges.
Perdue is a strong believer in good government, in that it should operate efficiently and serve the needs of its customers: the people of the United States. As a state Senator, he was recognized as a leading authority on issues including energy and utilities, agriculture, transportation, emerging technologies and economic development, and for his ability to grasp the nuances of complex problems. As Governor, he reformed state budget priorities, helped Georgians create more than 200,000 new jobs, and promoted his home state around the world to attract new businesses. In 2009, the Reason Foundation’s Innovators in Action magazine recognized Perdue as a leader who “aggressively pursued new strategies to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of government and deliver better value at less cost to taxpayers.” In addition, he was named “Public Official of the Year” in October 2010 by Governing Magazine. To this day, his thoughts are never far from the wishes of the citizens – the true owners of the government.
As the product of Georgia, a state where agriculture is the leading economic driver, Perdue recognized that agriculture is an issue and industry which cuts across political party boundaries. He recognizes that the size, scope, and diversity of America’s agricultural sector requires reaching across the aisle so that partisanship doesn’t get in the way of good solutions for American farmers, ranchers, and consumers.