On May 4, 2013, President Obama designated Michael Scuse as Acting Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In the past four years, Scuse has held top leadership positions in USDA's Farm & Foreign Agricultural Services (FFAS) mission area.
From 2009-2011, he was Deputy Under Secretary for FFAS with primary responsibility over domestic programs (Farm Services Agency and Risk Management Agency). In April 2012, he was confirmed by the Senate as Under Secretary of FFAS, heading up the Foreign Agricultural Service, as well as the two domestic program agencies.
In these positions, Scuse oversaw programs and services that contributed to the strongest period for agricultural exports in the history of the United States and helped pave the way for expanded exports of U.S. beef and beef products to Japan and Hong Kong. He led Agricultural Trade Missions to Russia, China, Vietnam, and Indonesia to promote sales of U.S. food and farm products.
Scuse supervised implementation of the 2008 Farm Bill and simplification of many complex and conflicting regulations among agencies. He led efforts to streamline farm business processes of both FSA and RMA. Streamlining the disaster designation process reduced processing time by 40 percent for most counties affected by disasters. Scuse also oversaw safety net systems including crop insurance and access to capital, providing farmers and ranchers with risk protection.
Scuse was Secretary of Agriculture for Delaware from May 2001 until September 2008, when he became Chief of Staff to Governor Ruth Ann Minner (D). From 1996 to 2001, he was Chairman of the Kent County (Delaware) Regional Planning Commission and Chairman of USDA's Farm Services Agency State Committee. He has served as Vice President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and President of the Northeast Association of State Departments of Agriculture. He lives in Smyrna, Delaware, with his wife Patrice.