Panel Discussion

Beth Osborne, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation

Beth Osborne joined the U.S. Department of Transportation as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy in 2009. She has worked on the development of the surface transportation reauthorization, and currently is focusing on the TIGER Discretionary Grant program, the Secretary’s livability initiative as well as safety and environment issues.

Before joining USDOT, Beth worked for Sen. Tom Carper (DE) as his legislative assistant for transportation, trade and labor policy, including work on SAFETEA-LU and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Previously, Beth worked as the policy director for Smart Growth America and as legislative director for environmental policy at the Southern Governors’ Association. She began her career in Washington, DC, in the House of Representatives working as a legislative assistant for Rep. Ron Klink (PA-04) and as legislative director for Rep. Brian Baird (WA-03). 

Maurice Jones, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Maurice Jones was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 29, 2012, and was sworn in as Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on April 18, 2012. As the second most senior official at HUD, Jones will manage the Department's day-to-day operations, the annual operating budget, and the agency's 8,900 employees.

Prior to HUD Jones was President of Pilot Media the largest print and digital organization in Hampton Roads, VA. Jones joined Landmark Media Enterprises, owner of Pilot Media, in 2005, serving as Vice President of the Landmark Publishing Group, consisting of multiple newspapers including the News & Record in Greensboro, NC; The Roanoke Times; The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, MD; and Landmark Community Newspapers, Inc., based in Shelbyville, Ky. In 2006 Jones became the Vice President and General Manager of Pilot Media and in 2008 he became president and publisher of The Virginian-Pilot, the locally owned and managed newspaper founded in 1865.

A Kenbridge, Virginia native, Jones also served as commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services and deputy chief of staff to then-Virginia Governor Mark Warner. At the U.S. Treasury Department, Jones was special assistant to the general counsel and he also served as legal counsel to the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund and as director of the fund during the Clinton Administration. Jones also worked for the law firm of Hunton & Williams in Richmond, Virginia and he was a partner at Venture Philanthropy Partners, a firm that invests millions in the Washington, DC metropolitan area to assist low-income children.

Jones graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in Hampden-Sydney, Virginia and attended Oxford University in England on a Rhodes scholarship. He later earned a law degree from the University of Virginia.

Bob Perciasepe, Deputy Administrator

With his appointment by President Obama in 2009, Bob Perciasepe returned to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to serve as Deputy Administrator—the nation’s second ranking environmental official and the agency’s chief operating officer. In this role, he continues a career spanning nearly four decades as one of the nation’s leading environmental and public policy figures. An expert on environmental stewardship, advocacy, public policy, and national resource and organizational management, Perciasepe is widely respected within both the environmental and U.S. business communities.

His extensive experience includes service both inside and outside of government. He served as a top EPA official in the administration of President Bill Clinton, who appointed him, first, to serve as the nation’s top water official and later as the senior official responsible for air quality across the U.S. Prior to being named to his current position, he was chief operating officer at the National Audubon Society, one of the world’s leading environmental organizations. He has also held top positions within state and municipal government, including as Secretary of the Environment for the State of Maryland and as a senior official for the City of Baltimore.

Perciasepe holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources from Cornell University and master's degree in planning and public administration from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. He and his wife have two adult daughters.

USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden

Harden was recently named USDA Deputy Secretary in August, 2013 after serving two years as the Secretary’s Chief of Staff (2011-2013). Prior to that, Harden served as Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations at USDA (2009-2011).

Born and raised in Camilla, Georgia, Harden refers to herself as a “small town farmer’s daughter” and has worked exclusively in the field of agriculture since graduating from college. Harden said her home town in Georgia is a good example of USDA being seen as THE federal government to the local rural community.  Where she grew up, USDA assisted with every facet of life. “USDA makes a difference in people’s lives, especially in rural communities.”

When asked why she chose to work for the federal government, Harden responded, “Because I want to serve my country, and this was how I chose to do so.”