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Karen Ross

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Karen Ross
Karen Ross.jpg
California Secretary of Agriculture
In office
January 12, 2011 - Present
Years in position 4
Base salary$175,000
Elections and appointments
AppointedJanuary 12, 2011
Appointed byGovernor Jerry Brown (D)
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln
Office website
Karen Ross is the current California Secretary of Agriculture. She was appointed to her position on January 12, 2011 by Governor Jerry Brown.[1]


Before becoming secretary, Ross was chief of staff for U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack from 2009 to 2010. Before entering public service, she spent over thirteen years as president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers and executive director of the Winegrape Growers of America. She also served on the California State Board of Food and Agriculture from 2001 to 2009. Previously, Ross was vice president of government affairs for the Agricultural Council of California from 1989 to 1996 and government relations director for the Nebraska Rural Electric Association from 1985 to 1988.[1]


  • B.A., University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Graduated, Nebraska Ag Leadership Program

Political career

California Secretary of Agriculture (2011-present)

Ross was first appointed on January 12, 2011 by Gov. Jerry Brown. Since the secretary of food and agriculture holds office at the pleasure of the governor, she is not subject to periodic reappointment.[1]



Brown was appointed to the statewide position of agriculture secretary on January 12, 2011 by Governor Jerry Brown.[2]

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Political offices
Preceded by
California Secretary of Agriculture
Succeeded by