Moseley growing into USDA post
By Tom Campbell
From the stage, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Jim Moseley,
BS '73, looked out over the audience of fresh-faced students gathered
to hear his pep talk on education at the University of the District
Moseley enjoyed these rare opportunities to interact
As the No. 2 person in the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
Moseley doesn't get out of the office much. While Secretary of Agriculture
Ann Veneman makes most of the public appearances, it's Moseley who stays
back at the Whitten Building on Washington's Memorial Mall, tending
to day-to-day business as CEO of the USDA.
Moseley had been looking forward to this speech. He had
even invited his wife, Kathy, a teacher in their days before D.C., to
But as his remarks were concluding, Moseley could see
his aide, Deborah Atwood, fidgeting with a cell phone in the back of
the auditorium. He had been with the department for a scant two months,
having been sworn in by Veneman on July 17. But when he saw Atwood fidgeting,
he knew something was up.
Atwood took a second phone call and began to scribble
furiously on the back of her copy of Moseley's prepared text. She folded
the note and handed it to Moseley. He quickly read to himself.
"When you finish, make the following statement:
We have been informed that there have been terrorist attacks here in
D.C. and in New York. I have been asked to return immediately to the
department. Thank you."
"Jim," the note concluded, "we must leave
Moseley returned to the office to help implement the
department's disaster plan.
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