Ted serves as the Chief Executive Officer of NASDA, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, a position to which he was named in September 2021. Prior to NASDA, he was also the first U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs from 2017-2021. In that role, Under Secretary McKinney led the development and implementation of the Department’s trade policy, oversaw and facilitated foreign market access, and promoted opportunities for U.S. agriculture through various trade programs and high-level government negotiations. He also oversaw the U.S. Codex Alimentarius staff and functions.
After his USDA service, McKinney was engaged in foreign affairs and outreach involving the US food and agriculture industry and its engagement with the United Nations Food Systems Summits.
In 2014, McKinney was appointed by then-Governor Mike Pence to serve as Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, a position he held until joining USDA in 2017. His career also included 19 years with Dow AgroSciences, where over time he served in nearly all Government & Public Affairs roles, and 14 years with Elanco, at that time a subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Company, where he was Director of Global Corporate Affairs. His industry and civic involvement is vast, including service as founder and Co-Chair of the National FFA Convention Local Organizing Committee, membership on the Indiana State Fair Commission, and Purdue College of Agriculture Dean’s Advisory Council, as well as on the boards of directors of the International Food Information Council and the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
McKinney grew up on a family grain and livestock farm in Tipton, Indiana, and was a 10-year 4-H member and an Indiana State FFA Officer. He graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. degree in Agricultural Economics in 1981, at which time he received the G.A. Ross Award as the outstanding University senior male graduate. In 2002, he was named a Purdue Agriculture Distinguished Alumnus and, in 2004, received an FFA Honorary American degree. He has also received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award from Indiana Governors Pence and Holcomb. He and his wife, Julie, have three children and six grandchildren, and reside in Alexandria, Virginia.