Assistant Administrator, Office of Field Operations (OFO)
Mr. William C. “Bill” Smith was named the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Field Operations (OFO) in the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) at USDA in July of 2014. He previously served as AA for OFO and is now beginning his second assignment leading this program area. In this role, he is responsible for ensuring that food safety inspection aligns with existing and emerging risks to minimize existing and emerging food safety hazards. He also oversees animal welfare activities conducted every day by nearly 7,800 employees in approximately 6,000 meat, poultry, and processed egg, and import facilities.
The Assistant Administrator for OFO focuses on consistent and standardized application of food safety policies by the field employees in the 10 district offices under his purview and places a particular emphasis on providing field inspectors with adequate training so that they can correctly interpret the laws that they are charged with implementing.
Prior to his current role in OFO, Mr. Smith was the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Investigation, Enforcement and Audit (OIEA) where he managed the Agency’s investigation and enforcement resources, State and foreign audit programs, and litigation functions to protect public health and respond to food safety and food defense issues associated with the handling, sale, and distribution of meat, poultry, and processed egg products in-commerce. His staff of 156 investigators worked to ensure compliance at over 150,000 facilities in commerce.
Mr. Smith has 38 years of experience in inspection and enforcement of food safety and other consumer protections, from working as an in-plant inspector to positions in FSIS headquarters. He managed the launch of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) program in the late 1990s. The rule clarified the respective roles of government and industry in food safety efforts. The HACCP program has been a critical factor in the overall decline of bacterial foodborne illnesses since 1996.
Mr. Smith graduated from Kansas State University in 1974 with a degree in Biological Science.