Shavana Howard

Senior Advisor for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Shavana Howard currently serves as the Senior Advisor to Food Nutrition Consumer Services for USDA.  She is an advocate for the country’s most vulnerable populations having more than 21 years of public service in both the states of Washington and Louisiana.

Shavana started her career with Washington’s Catholic Community Services and then the Commission on African American Affairs. She served as an enlisted Petty Officer in the United States Navy transitioning to countless positions within Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services. Her roles there included managing the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, determining eligibility for SNAP, TANF, Childcare, Medical and short-term disability programs, case management and working within the Workforce Development system helping to make Washington’s SNAP Employment & Training program a national model.

She joined the Louisiana DCFS team in April 2020 as the Assistant Secretary of Family Support for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services. Shavana brought numerous innovative approaches to help reach the Agency’s vision, mission and values, such as increasing the states TANF program for the first time in over 20 years, the creation of a virtual DSNAP to provide disaster assistance to communities when in-person services were not possible, assessing the Child Support Enforcement system to help shift to a family-centered Child Support program and launching an On Demand interview process for SNAP and TANF benefits.

Shavana received her Bachelor’s degree from Washington State University. She served on the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) board as a Western Region Representative for more than four years and sat on the board for Community of Basketball, a non-profit organization in Washington, which provides services to at-risk youth using basketball as a means to mentor. Additionally, she was a a member of Louisiana’s Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board, Education Workforce Subcabinet, Workforce Investment Council, Military Family Assistance Board, Jobs for the Future Subcommittee, and the LSU Policy Practice Advisory Council.