Phil Karsting is a Senior Policy Advisor at Olsson Frank Weeda Terman and Matz. He previously served as Vice President of Public Policy and Interim President and CEO of World Food Program USA. From May 2013 to January 2017 he served as Administrator of USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, appointed during the second term of the Obama Administration. He came to the position having worked more than 22 years on agricultural policy in the United States Senate.
Immediately prior to joining FAS Karsting served as Chief of Staff to Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), then Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies. Karsting also served as Senior Analyst on the Democratic Staff of the Senate Budget Committee where he handled issues relating to agriculture, rural development, housing, telecommunications, energy and the environment. He began his Capitol Hill service as Legislative Assistant to Senator Jim Exon (D-NE) where he handled agriculture and natural resource matters.
During his time in the Senate he served on the Senate Bi-partisan Chiefs of Staff steering committee and as a Senior Fellow with the John C. Stennis Center for Public Service Leadership. In 2013 he developed curriculum and taught legislative process and committee procedure in Monrovia, Liberia, on behalf of the National Democratic Institute.