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About OASCR

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OASCR)


Signage reading Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
OASCR provides overall leadership, coordination, and direction for USDA's civil rights programs, including matters related to program delivery, compliance and equal employment opportunity. OASCR ensures compliance with applicable federal civil rights laws such as:

  • Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
  • The Age Discrimination Act of 1975
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

OASCR's mission is to provide leadership and direction for the fair and equitable treatment of all USDA customers and employees while ensuring the delivery of quality programs and enforcement of civil rights. OASCR ensures compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies for USDA customers and employees regardless of race, color, national origin, sex ( including gender identity and expression), religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital or familial status, political beliefs, parental status, protected genetic information, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all bases apply to all programs.)



Dr. Joe Leanoard Photo Joe Leonard, Jr. Ph.D
Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack swore in Dr. Joe Leonard, Jr., as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights on April 6, 2009. (Link to Full Biography)



Frederick Pfaeffle Arana Frederick Pfaeffle Arana
Deputy Assistant Secretary
for Civil Rights

Frederick Pfaeffle Arana began his tenure as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in March 2014. (Link to full Biography)


Ashlee Davis Photo Ashlee J. Davis
Special Assistant to the
Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

Ashlee Davis was appointed as the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in June 2013. (Link to full Biography)