(March 24, 1:40 p.m.) Bringing development experience rather than a background in trade, Michael Michener has been named administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said March 23 that Michener brings vast experience in foreign affairs to the USDA post, having served in three U.S. foreign affairs agencies in the past 10 years.

Michener will oversee trade development programs for the USDA, including the Market Access Program. Industry lobbyists are working to maintain funding at $200 million per year for the export promotion program. President Obama’s fiscal year 2010 budget proposes a 20% cut to MAP funds.

Michener’s latest post was senior democracy and governance advisor and lead planning officer for the State Department’s Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization, according to a USDA news release.

From 2005 to 2007, he was the lead Iraq policy officer for the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, managing nearly $400 million in assistance programs promoting democracy and human rights in that country, according to the release. He also has experience working with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Kosovo, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.