WASHINGTON — Robert Johansson, PhD, chief economist at the US Department of Agriculture, will join the American Sugar Alliance as associate director of economics and policy analysis on Jan. 31, the USDA and ASA announced.

Dr. Johansson will work alongside Jack Roney, ASA’s director of economics and policy analysis, and will assume that role upon Mr. Roney’s retirement in August.

“We are thrilled to welcome Rob to the American Sugar Alliance,” said Jack Pettus, ASA chairman. “America’s sugar producers are an essential part of our country’s food supply chain, and there are a growing number of complex issues that affect the continued success of the industry. Rob brings a wealth of experience at the highest levels of government that will help us adeptly navigate current and future challenges.”

Dr. Johansson was deputy chief economist at USDA until assuming the chief economist role in 2015. He previously worked in senior-level roles at USDA and in other government positions including the Congressional Budget Office, the Office of Management and Budget and the White House Council of Economic Advisors. He also is chairman of the Federal Crop Insurance Corp. board of directors. Dr. Johansson has a PhD in agriculture and applied economics from the University of Minnesota.

“There is no doubt that I as well as the whole USDA family will miss Rob’s experience, preparedness and direct economic analysis,” said Sonny Perdue, US Secretary of Agriculture. “Rob’s leadership and economic support over the past two years with trade disruptions and COVID-19 relief has helped us make evidenced-based decisions when designing programs to assist American farmers and ranchers during their time of need.”

Seth Meyer, PhD, will return to the USDA to be the new chief economist, the department said. He is a research professor and the associate director for the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri. He previously was head of the USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board in the Office of the Chief Economist.

“We are excited to bring back Dr. Seth Meyer and know that he will do a tremendous job serving the people of American Agriculture,” Mr. Perdue said.

Dr. Meyer has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Iowa State University and an PhD in agricultural economics from the University of Missouri.