In March 2020, President Donald J. Trump appointed Devon Westhill to be Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
As Deputy Assistant Secretary, Mr. Westhill leads the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OASCR) at USDA. The OASCR team is responsible for enforcing federal civil rights laws, regulations, executive orders, and departmental policies that protect from discrimination the 100,000 strong USDA workforce and the millions of USDA customers. Thus, a principal focus of the OASCR team is to expeditiously investigate and adjudicate employee and customer complaints alleging discrimination. Additionally, core functions of the OASCR team include leading enterprise-wide compliance and proactive prevention activities, encouraging the participation of traditionally underrepresented populations in USDA activities, providing technical assistance to employees and customers, drafting analyses on the impact of USDA initiatives on vulnerable populations, and studying, reporting, and making recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture and to the Congress on addressing civil rights-related issues at USDA.
Deputy Assistant Secretary Westhill’s career includes service in all three branches of government and the United States Navy, and work in both private law practice and the nonprofit sector. He brings to the USDA OASCR, among other traits, demonstrated expertise in personnel and program management, strategic development, and change leadership. Mr. Westhill’s life experiences and personal philosophy have made him passionate about civil rights enforcement.
Deputy Assistant Secretary Westhill and his NICU nurse wife, Michelle, are proud Florida natives who currently reside in Northern Virginia with their two children, Madeline and Benjamin.