Assistant Administrator, Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Education (OPACE)
Carol Blake was appointed as the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Education (OPACE) in the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) in November of 2011. As the leader for OPACE, Ms. Blake manages efforts to ensure that all segments of the farm-to-table chain receive valuable food safety information. Her extensive communications experience with FSIS and USDA provides a solid foundation to lead OPACE initiatives.
As Assistant Administrator of OPACE, Ms. Blake oversees the communication of public health messages to consumers and develops strategies to gain appropriate attention from news and other media outlets. During her time with USDA, she has seen a wide range of technology advancements that have helped raise the profile of FSIS in the ever-evolving world of 21st century communications. Under her leadership, FSIS has modernized its website into a mobile friendly public health tool for consumers and led innovative outreach using social media.
In her current role, she leads efforts that directly link to FSIS’ strategic goal to increase the number of consumers who follow safe food handling practices through education and awareness campaigns. She ensures that the public can receive critical food safety information through a variety of social media, leads the Agency in its development of apps and consumer tools, and pursues partnerships with government and non-government organizations to obtain consumer data that ultimately shape additional consumer education opportunities. Ms. Blake is committed to being fiscally responsible in her quest to advance consumer education and awareness.
In August 2008, Ms. Blake was named the Director of OPACE's Congressional and Public Affairs Office. Since joining FSIS in 1999, she held positions that include press officer, public affairs specialist, and deputy director for correspondence and FOIA. Prior to joining FSIS, Ms. Blake handled media and communication initiatives for the Agricultural Marketing Service and USDA's Office of Communications.
Though Ms. Blake didn’t set out determined for a career at USDA, she feels a strong connection with the Department, as her grandfather was the head of what is now USDA’s Office of Budget and Program Analysis. Ms. Blake’s earliest formal experience at USDA entailed working as a clerk with the Forest Service during college breaks. She graduated from Randolph-Macon College with a degree in English.