Nine to advise USDA

Nine government, academic and business officials have been appointed to a group chartered last fall to advise senior Agriculture Department officials on technology matters related to e-government.

Members of the group, known as the USDA Technology and eGovernment Advisory Council, will advise USDA officials as they develop new e-government programs. The group's purpose is to offer diverse viewpoints that will help the agency create programs that meet the needs of those they are intended to serve, USDA officials said.

User interfaces, e-learning and Web technologies likely will be high on the agenda when the group meets for the first time June 10.

The group's charter was created in October 2003 under the Federal Advisory Council Act. It authorizes the group to advise the USDA secretary and chief information officer on departmentwide information technology initiatives. Members are appointed for two-year terms.

The newly appointed members are:

Carol Coren, community programs specialist for the Food Innovation Center at Oregon State University.

Kevin Gamble, chief technology officer for the American Distance Education Consortium.

Warren Hammerbeck, agricultural producer and president of Reliance Enterprises.

Mark Johnson, executive director of the North Dakota Association of Counties.

Sally Mancini, program director for End Hunger Connecticut! Inc., Hartford.

Jennie Meeker, a consultant for Capitolink LLC and chairwoman of the USDA group.

Umesh Narendra Sanjanwala, director of information management at the Mississippi Agriculture and Commerce Department.

Erasmo Trevino, district director for the USDA's Farm Service Agency.

Christopher Werner, chief executive officer of eSummits Inc.

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