Welcome from USDA Rural Development State Director Quinton N. Robinson

Through our business, housing, and community programs and initiatives, USDA Rural Development invested almost $1.5 billion in Georgia's rural communities during Fiscal Year 2011. This investment has resulted in improved water and sewage services, new and improved community facilities, affordable rental housing for senior citizens and low-income families, homeownership for families, new jobs, and new industries, renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, rural electric improvements, and sustainable communities.

USDA Rural Development is dedicated to the goals of the Rural Development mission area. Helping the people of rural Georgia to develop sustainable communities and to improve their quality of life are the goals that we are striving to meet.

Quinton N. Robinson, State Director

Quinton N. Robinson, Esq. began this official position with the Obama Administration when he was selected to serve as the Acting State Director on September 23, 2011.  The management and policy development duties of Rural Development provide a platform for Mr. Robinson to advance the economic outlook for rural citizens and agriculture based communities. Mr. Robinson believes that a targeted regionalized approach is the most efficient means of addressing the consequences of rural poverty in an environment of limited grant opportunities.

Mr. Robinson is no stranger to agriculture and rural development. On May 18, 2009, he was first appointed by the Obama Administration to serve in Washington, D.C. as the USDA Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. As Director of small business programs, he developed procurement strategies resulting in $2.5 billion dollars in contract awards to small businesses.

Before joining USDA, he worked as a policy advisor to the Rural Coalition where he played a major role in developing and drafting regulatory and legislative language designed to improve the marketing capacity and cooperative legal structure of limited resource farmers and ranchers. Mr. Robinson has more than ten years of legislative experience with the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. Most notably, he served four years as the Assistant Counsel on the House Agriculture Committee where he developed legislative policy on forestry, nutrition and agricultural marketing issues. He also served as a legislative advisor to key Members of the U.S. Congress on various agricultural policy and procedural issues during the 2002 Farm Bill negotiations.

Mr. Robinson holds a B.A. degree in Political Science from Albany State University; a M.A. in Political Management from George Washington University, and a law degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law, formerly the Franklin Pierce Law Center.

Photo of Georgia Assistant State Director Donnie Thomas
Donnie D. Thomas, Assistant State Director

Mr. Thomas brings over 35 years of experience with USDA Rural Development and predecessor organization Farmers Home Administration. Mr. Thomas holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Georgia and earned his Masters in Public Administration from Piedmont College.


Rural Development office locator  

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development website

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State Director's Office Contacts

Stephens Federal Building
355 East Hancock Avenue, Room 300
Athens, GA 30601
Phone: (706) 546-2162 or 1 (800) 338-5975
FAX: (855) 452-0956
TDD: (706) 546-2034

Quinton N. Robinson, State Director

Donnie D. Thomas, Assistant State Director

Deborah Callahan, State Director's Secretary, Webmaster and Public Information Coordinator deborah.callahan@ga.usda.gov
(706) 552-2583

Phil Phillips, Management Program Assistant
(706) 552-2588

Cathea Simelton, State Civil Rights Manager
(706) 552-2555

Bryan Zulko, Management Analyst / StrikeForce Coordinator
(706) 552-2557