Our Leadership

Bruce SummersAdministrator Bruce Summers

Bruce Summers currently serves as the Administrator for the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).  In this position he works on policy issues and oversight of a variety of programs including grading of commodities such as meat, produce, dairy and cotton, the USDA Market News Service, and the National Organic Program.

Mr. Summers is a long time employee of the Agricultural Marketing Service with more than 30 years of experience.  Prior to being named to the Administrator position he served in the Fruit & Vegetable Program Area of the Agricultural Marketing Service.  Mr. Summers has a degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Maryland.

Erin MorrisAssociate Administrator Erin Morris

Erin Morris is the Associate Administrator of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).  In this capacity, Erin is responsible for the administration and oversight of the broad range of agricultural regulatory, marketing, and inspection programs conducted by AMS. Before being selected for this position, Erin served in a variety of other leadership positions within AMS since joining the Agency approximately 20 years ago.  Prior to joining USDA, Erin worked in the foodservice distribution industry and was employed by one of the largest foodservice distributors in the country. 

Erin is a Cum Laude graduate of the College of Agriculture at Texas A&M University. She resides in Fairfax Station, VA, with her husband and two children.  In her spare time, Erin enjoys horseback riding, reading, and traveling.

Charles ParrotDeputy Associate Administrator Charles Parrott 

Charles W. Parrott began his career with the Department of Agriculture in 1983 as a marketing specialist in the PACA Branch’s Washington, D.C. office.  Since then, he has held a variety of positions including director of PACA’s southeast regional office, Assistant Chief of the PACA Branch and Associate Deputy Administrator of AMS’s Fruit and Vegetable Programs.  In October 2012 he was named the Deputy Administrator of Specialty Crops Program, and now holds the position of Deputy Associate Administrator in AMS.

Chuck holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture and a minor in agricultural economics from Virginia Tech, and is a Senior Executive Fellow from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Karen ComfortDeputy Associate Administrator/Deputy Chief Operating Officer Karen T. Comfort

Karen T. Comfort is currently the Deputy Associate Administrator/Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the Agricultural Marketing Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  In this capacity, she leads the Agency’s overall direction, coordination and evaluation of its operations.  She leads the Agency’s strategic planning, key performance measures development, business process improvement and re-engineering, and project management processes.  She also spearheads the Agency’s evidence and evaluation planning process in order to improve data-driven decision making processes.  In addition, she oversees and administers the Agency’s compliance, internal audits, safety, security, emergency-preparedness, and continuity of operations programs, working closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Office of the Inspector General, and other law enforcement agencies.  Ms. Comfort has over 20 years of Federal service, serving in numerous leadership roles.

Ms. Comfort graduated Magna Cum Laude from Trinity Washington University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and was inducted into both the Lambda Pi Eta Communication and the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Societies.  She also earned a Master of Public Administration from The American University where she graduated with honors and distinction and was inducted into the Pi Alpha Alpha International Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration.