Darci Vetter, NE 95

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Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, USDA

"The Truman Scholarship introduced me to the 'Truman Community.' Before TSLW and Summer Institute, I didn’t really have peers who were committed to public service careers.  The Truman Community provided me with a wealth of friendships--people who share career goals, and who provide support, advice, and valued insight on issues of the day.  Whether deciding on a graduate program, choosing to accept a new job, or seeking advice on balancing work and family, fellow Truman Scholars are the people I consult.  My life is richer because I am a Truman Scholar." - Darci Vetter

Darci Vetter, a 1995 Truman Scholar from Nebraska, is currently Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Before joining USDA, she served as an International Trade Advisor on the Democratic Staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, where she advised Chairman Max Baucus and other Committee members on trade issues relating to agriculture, the environment and labor, including the 2008 Farm Bill and pending legislation on climate change.

Prior to her work on the Finance Committee, Darci spent six years at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), most recently as Director for Agricultural Affairs. At USTR, Darci was responsible for facilitating NAFTA implementation and resolving agricultural trade issues with Canada and Mexico, as well as participating in the WTO Doha Round negotiations.

Darci also served as the Director for Sustainable Development in USTR's environment office, where she negotiated the environmental provisions of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement and negotiated trade provisions in U.N. environmental treaties, including the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

Darci recalls that, “The Truman Scholarship changed my life.  Before the Truman, I didn’t even know a public policy graduate degree existed, and I would not have dared apply to an Ivy League Institution.  The Truman Foundation gave me the information and the confidence to apply, and Truman on my resume got me in the door.  The head of admissions told me he had never seen an application from Drake University, and didn’t know how to evaluate my transcript.  But he understood perfectly what the Truman Scholarship meant; a vote of confidence from Truman got me a vote of confidence from Princeton.”

She received her Master of Public Affairs degree and a Certificate in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and her undergraduate degree from Drake University in Des Moines. She grew up in Nebraska on a family farm.

Photo courtesy of USDA.gov