On May 6, 2013, Anne L. Alonzo was appointed to head the Agricultural Marketing Service, the branch of the United States Department of Agriculture that promotes the sale and distribution of American agricultural products.
Alonzo was born and raised in Chicago, attending local schools. She assumed she would end up as a secretary, so she took shorthand and typing lessons. However, Alonzo received a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She then went to work in a law firm and wanted to go to law school. So she went to Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology and got a JD in 1984.
She then worked as a Senior Regional Legal Counsel in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region V office in Chicago. She remained there until 1990, when she was fortunate enough to be the first environmental attaché at a United States Embassy, posted to Mexico City. While there, Alonzo worked on the environmental provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
In 1994, Alonzo moved to the Department of Commerce as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Trade Administration. Its objective was to work on the development of emerging markets.
Alonzo left public service in 1998 to become vice president of public and government affairs for the oil company Amoco. However, that was right before the company was taken over by BP. In 2000, Alonzo graduated from the University of Chicago with an MBA. That year, she was also appointed Senior Vice-President of the National Council for Foreign Trade, a position she held for seven years. In this position, she was active in securing congressional support for the Dominican Republic / Central America Free Trade Agreement.
Alonzo jumped at the chance to return to his hometown in 2007 when offered the position of vice president of global public policy and corporate affairs for Kraft Foods. She dealt with questions of tariffs; taxation and trade; and sustainability. At Kraft, Alonzo was appointed President of the World Cocoa Foundation in 2010.
To learn more:
A Journey Through the Global Village (Chicago Booth Magazine)