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Basil Gooden

State Director, USDA - Rural Development

Dr. Basil I. Gooden serves as the State Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Development for the Commonwealth of Virginia.  In this capacity, he provides executive and policy leadership to this federal agency that works to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life in rural Virginia.   Basil’s primary educational and professional background is in the areas of housing, community and economic development, family financial management and consumer-related issues.  Prior to joining USDA – Rural Development, Basil served as the Chief Deputy Director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for twelve years. Basil is a native of Buckingham County, Virginia where he and his family own and operate a cattle farm, raising Black Angus beef.  His family farm also participates in tree farming and land conversation efforts.  As a youth, Basil was actively involved in many Virginia Cooperative Extension related activities that focused on crop production, livestock and 4-H activities.  Basil currently resides in Henrico County with his wife, Dr. Susan T. Gooden, who is a professor of public policy at the Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University. They have one daughter, Caper, who is currently a student at the College of William and Mary.