Thomas J. Vilsack, a former governor of Iowa, is President-elect Barack Obama’s choice to be U.S. secretary of agriculture, The New York Times reported on its politics blog.
Mr. Vilsack, who had briefly sought the Democratic presidential nomination this year and later supported Hillary Clinton, is now a lawyer in Des Moines, but has connections with academe. He was a fellow this fall at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, in the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and he was a visiting professor at Drake University in 2007.
Under the budget President Bush proposed last February, the Agriculture Department would finance about $1.01-billion in university research through its Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service in the current fiscal year. Congress has not yet completed a spending bill for the agency.
Mr. Obama is expected to announce his selection of Governor Vilsack for the post on Wednesday, along with that of U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, of Colorado, as secretary of the interior. —Charles Huckabee