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Katherine Reichelderfer Smith

  • Administrator, USDA-Economic Research Service, 2007-present
  • Associate Administrator, USDA-Economic Research Service, 2005-2007
  • Chair of Joint Working Party on Agriculture and the Environment, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2005-2007
  • Fred Woods Public Policy Award, USDA Economists Group, 2005
  • AAEA Foundation Board, 2004-2007
  • Co-editor, Review of Agricultural Economics, 2002-2004
  • Meritorious Executive of the U.S. Senior Executive Service, 2001
  • Director of Resource Economics Division, USDA-Economic Research Service, 1999-2005
  • Director of Market and Trade Economics Division, USDA-Economic Research Service, 1996-1999
  • Director of Policy Studies Program, Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, 1993-1996
  • Co-founder and Board of Directors, Council on Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics, 1993 to 1996
  • Associate Administrator and Acting Administrator, USDA-Economic Research Service, 1991-1993
  • Professional Excellence in Quality of Communication, AAEA, 1991
  • AAEA Executive Board of Directors, 1990-1992
  • Senior Fellow and Director of the Agriculture, Environment, and Food Safety Research Program, National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, Resources for the Future, 1989-1991
  • Visiting Fellow, Resources for the Future, October 1988–April 1989
  • Associate Director of Resources and Technology Division, USDA-Economic Research Service, 1985-1989
  • Various researcher and research leadership positions, USDA-Economic Research Service, 1977-1984
  • PhD and MS in Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Maryland, 1974 and 1977
  • BS in Conservation and Resource Development and Biological Sciences, University of Maryland, 1973

Over the last three decades, Katherine (Kitty) Smith has conducted, managed, led, and/or funded economic research on the inter-relationships among agriculture, policy, and the natural environment. Her research focus is applied and her findings geared to informing public policy and program decision making.

Among the decisions directly influenced by Smith’s research include agricultural pest control fund allocation, the coherence of agricultural and conservation policies, Conservation Reserve Program eligibility and selection criteria, and “Green Payment” policy proposals. She is an award-winning research program manager who champions her colleagues’ work and generously supports policy analytical pursuits within the Economic Research Service and outside, by students, university faculty, and government collaborators.

Smith’s keen eye for upcoming issues has guaranteed that anticipatory research planning under her direction has led to numerous “just-in-time” research reports. Smith has also been an advocate for better access to government data for research purposes, gradually transforming Agricultural Resource Management survey data from a closeted in-house resource to a set of data increasingly easy for researchers outside of the Agency to access without jeopardizing confidentiality.

Smith has served on at least one AAEA Committee each and every year between 1986 and 2007, including service on the Executive and Foundation Boards.