Former A&M leader under consideration for agriculture secretary

December 22, 2016

Elsa Murano, the former president of Texas A&M; University, is under consideration to be President-elect Donald Trump’s agriculture secretary, according to his transition team. 

Trump aides said Thursday that Trump will meet next week with Murano, the former top food safety official at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. At least two other Texans are thought to be in play for agriculture secretary under Trump: Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller and former Comptroller Susan Combs. 

Murano led Texas A&M; from 2008 to 2009. She previously served as vice chancellor and dean of the school’s College of Agriculture and Life Science. After roughly a year and a half as president, Murano resigned amid friction with Mike McKinney, the former A&M; System chancellor who had harshly criticized her job performance. 

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Prior to that, she was U.S. undersecretary of agriculture for food safety under former President George W. Bush. 

“She comes very highly recommended … and obviously her track record of running a major university really speaks for itself,” Trump spokesman Jason Miller told reporters.  

Murano is just the latest Texan to show up on the transition’s radar. Combs, Texas’ former agriculture commissioner, met Tuesday with Vice President-elect Mike Pence in Washington, while Miller is planning a trip to Trump Tower in New York between Christmas and New Year’s Day. 

Disclosure: Texas A&M; University have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here. 

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