USDA CIO Cheryl Cook retires, takes Pennsylvania ag job

Cook rejoins Pennsylvania's Department of Agriculture, where she worked earlier in her career. Joyce Hunter, who was USDA's deputy CIO for policy and planning, now serves as acting CIO.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated on March 10 to include Cook’s new role and USDA’s updated statement.

Cheryl Cook, chief information officer for the Department of Agriculture, retired from the federal government last week. She plans to take on a new job as chief innovation and information officer for Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture.

Joyce Hunter, who was USDA’s deputy CIO for policy and planning, is now acting CIO for the department.

“Cheryl Cook did resign, effective last week, after nearly six years of service under Secretary Vilsack. Cheryl served the Department with distinction in several positions, including Deputy Under Secretary for USDA Rural Development, and we wish her well in her future endeavors,” a USDA spokeswoman said in an email to FedScoop.


A USDA spokeswoman later clarified to say that Cook retired.

Previously, Cook served as USDA’s deputy undersecretary for Rural Development, where she oversaw programs involving business and cooperatives, housing and community facilities, and utilities, according to her official bio. She also worked at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture earlier in her career, as the deputy secretary for marketing and economic development.

Cook earned a bachelor’s from Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania and a law degree from the Dickinson School of Law, part of the Pennsylvania State University system.

Her replacement Hunter has worked in the IT industry for three decades, according to her bio. Before joining government, Hunter served as CEO for IT strategic planning consultancy Vulcan Enterprises. Hunter has a bachelor’s from Villanova University and an MBA in marketing from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

Latest Podcasts