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Pearlie S. Reed

Pearlie S. Reed was born on June 14, 1948 in Heth, Arkansas. Reed graduated from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff with a degree in Animal Husbandry and received a Master’s of Public Administration degree from the American University, Washington, D.C.

Pearlie Reed was sworn in as the Assistant Secretary for Administration in the US Department of Agriculture on May 21, 2009. He served as the senior official for Departmental Management until June 1, 2012. In this capacity he had responsibility for leading and managing Departmental Staff Offices, Departmental Administration and the Civil Rights offices at USDA. His departure in June marks the second time Reed has retired from the Department of Agriculture to return to work as a consultant in his own firm based in Marion,Arkansas.

Pearlie began his career at USDA as a student trainee with the Soil Conservation Service in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas in 1968 while in college, and rose to the position of the Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service in 1998. He served in that position until 2002. He served in four states and headquarters during his career with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). From 1994-97, he served as NRCS’s Associate Chief. He was the State Conservationist for California from 1989-94 and State Conservationist for Maryland from 1985-89 responsible for leading comprehensive soil, water, and resource conservation and development programs in those states.

Reed previously served as Acting Assistant Secretary for Administration from 1997-98. A leader on Civil Rights issues, he was appointed to head the Civil Rights Action Team by then USDA Secretary Dan Glickman. The team issued a report that made recommendations on how to improve civil rights both inside and outside of USDA. President Bill Clinton issued an order that all 92 recommendations of the team be implemented.

Over the course of his career, Pearlie has received numerous awards and honors including the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award for strength, integrity, industry and a relentless commitment to excellence in public service. He also received the George Washington Carver Public Service Hall of Fame Award and the USDA Silver Plow Award.