USDA Rural Development Maine
State Director Virginia Manuel

Virginia Manuel was appointed to serve as State Director of USDA Rural Development in Maine by President Obama on September 21, 2009. She brings over twenty five years experience in business, state economic development, and international trade in both government and the private sector to the position.

Prior to assuming her position, she was founder of Manuel & Associates (2001-2009) where she provided strategic planning and development services to promote collaboration between Maine local government, business, and research organizations and Northern Ireland/Ireland business, government and research institutions. She also served as an advisor to the Vital Voices Global Partnership, a worldwide women leadership development organization in Washington, D.C.

Formerly, she served as a Senior Advisor and Special Assistant (1994-2001) in the International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, in Washington, D.C. promoting U.S. exports and international commercial initiatives. She is a former Director of Business Assistance for the State of Maine.

She is a graduate of the University of Maine with a B.S. degree in Education and Sociology and holds a Graduate Certificate in Marketing and Fundraising Administration from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She attended St. Peter College, Oxford University, England with studies in Renaissance history.

Ms. Manuel grew up in Aroostook County in a potato farming family and permanently resides on the family farm.