Jacqueline Ponti-Lazaruk is the Chief Risk Officer for USDA, Rural Development (RD). She is the Agency’s first CRO and is responsible for implementing Enterprise Risk Management and integrating it at all staff levels and into key Agency functions.
Jacki has served in various senior positions in RD over the last 11 years. Prior to becoming CRO, she was the Assistant Administrator for the RUS Water and Environmental Programs where, for nine years, she lead RD’s record investments in rural water and waste infrastructure and streamlined policies and processes to improve customer service and program results. Under her leadership, the program invested more than $14 billion in new loans and grants for rural water and waste disposal systems across the Nation. As a result, 21 million rural residents will benefit from increased access to reliable and sustainable water and waste services. Her programs also provided environmental support for all Rural Utilities Service Programs, including the Electric and Telecommunications Programs.
From 2006 to 2008 she served as the Rural Development Assistant Administrator for Telecommunications Program, promoting and supporting rural broadband deployment. She has also been called upon to lead major agency-wide efforts. She was the career senior executive in charge of leading Rural Development’s implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), lead the consolidation and streamlining of environmental regulations and facilitated the implementation of the 2010 census. She has also served as the Rural Utilities Service Chief of Staff and as Acting Administrator at various times during her tenure.
Prior to joining USDA, she served in various positions over a 15‐year span at the Federal Communications Commission, including as Associate Bureau Chief for Outreach and Chief of Staff for the International Bureau. In February 2017 she marked the completion of her 26th year in public service. Ms. Ponti‐Lazaruk is a graduate of James Madison University in rural Virginia.