WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Feb. 23 announced his intent to nominate Kathleen A. Merrigan as deputy secretary of the Department of Agriculture. Ms. Merrigan is an assistant professor and director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment M.S. and Ph.D. Program at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston. Prior to joining the Friedman School, Ms. Merrigan held a variety of policymaking jobs at the state, federal, and international level. From 1999 to 2001, she was administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S.D.A. From 1994 to 1999, she worked at the Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, and served as an expert consultant at the Food Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. From 1987 to 1992 she was a staff member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. From 1986 to 1987, she worked in the regulatory division of the Texas Department of Agriculture and from 1982 to 1985 she worked for Congressman John Olver during his tenure in the Massachusetts State Senate. Ms. Merrigan received a bachelor’s degree in political science and English at Williams College, a master’s degree in public affairs at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and a doctorate degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in environmental planning and policy.