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Smith leaving AFT for executive director job at COPAFS

Kitty Smith
Kitty Smith
Katherine “Kitty” Smith, the former administrator of the Agriculture Department’s Economic Research Service and now the chief economist at the American Farmland Trust, is leaving that position to become executive director of the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics, known as COPAFS.

Smith will remain at AFT until she assumes her new post on October 1.

In a brief interview during the American Agricultural Economics Association meeting last week in Seattle, Smith noted that there are many attacks on federal statistical gathering and that one of her goals in the new position is to fight to maintain USDA’s ability and budget to gather data. COPAFS is dedicated to advancing federal statistics, a vibrant federal statistical system, high quality data, and robust data use.

Smith, who has also served as co-editor of the Review of Agricultural Economics, obtained a doctoral degree in agricultural and resource economics from the University of Maryland, College Park.

At COPAFS, she succeeds Edward Spar, who has served as executive director since 1992 and who will retire at the end of December.