Claudette Fernandez

Chief Innovation Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Innovation Center

Claudette Fernandez was recently named the chief innovation officer in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Innovation Center. In this position, Ms. Fernandez works directly with Rural Development’s program and state leadership to innovate agency programs and processes to be more effective, efficient and customer focused.

Ms. Fernandez has more than 15 years of experience in community economic development. At the USDA, she most recently served as assistant administrator for Rural Development’s water and environmental programs. Before that, Ms. Fernandez served as deputy administrator for business programs as well as director of community economic development. Prior to joining USDA, she served as senior program manager at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).