Sara Eckhouse serves as Senior Advisor to the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, focusing on local and regional food systems and related issues. From 2012 to 2016, Sara was Chief of Staff at USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), which facilitates the competitive and efficient marketing of agricultural products in domestic and international markets. In that role, Sara advised the Administrator on the full range of agency activities, with an emphasis on policies and strategies that support USDA and AMS priorities related to organic agriculture, local and regional food systems, and access to healthy food.
From 2010 to 2012, Sara worked as a Legislative Assistant and Assistant to the Senate Liaison at the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. Prior to that, she was a Special Assistant at USDA for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. Sara also worked as a Field Organizer for the 2008 Obama campaign. Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Sara’s interest in agriculture and food systems grew after her parents started La Quercia, which works with sustainable producers to make prosciutto and other cured pork products in Norwalk, Iowa. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College.