The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled an executive session for September 7 to advance the nomination of Doug McKalip to be chief agricultural negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

If approved by the committee, the nomination would then head to the full Senate for a vote.

McKalip has held leadership roles at the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Biotechnology Regulatory Services mission area, served as a senior advisor for Agriculture and Rural Affairs at the White House Domestic Policy Council during the Obama administration, and most recently served as senior advisor to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. He has worked in the federal government for 29 years.

He holds a Master’s in Public Policy from American University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh.

“Doug McKalip is a highly qualified nominee with decades of experience in public service,” U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said of McKalip’s nomination. “His institutional knowledge of USDA spans multiple administrations, from leading different offices to serving as trusted advisor to Secretary Vilsack, and will help us continue the close collaboration between our agencies that has enabled so much success.

“Russia’s war against Ukraine has disrupted the global supply of commodities, which increases the risk of food insecurity for millions of people. If confirmed, Doug will join a leadership team sharply focused on addressing these issues. I hope the United States Senate will swiftly consider Doug’s nomination and confirm him to this position.”

Gregg Doud was the last to hold the position of chief agricultural negotiator. Elaine Trevino was nominated, but recently withdrew her nomination to the position.