Acting Director, USDA National Appeals Division
Duane A. Sinclair
Regional Director – Eastern Region, USDA National Appeals Division
Duane A. Sinclair has served as the Regional Director of the National Appeals Division’s (NAD) Eastern Regional Office (ERO) since June 2005. As Regional Director, Mr. Sinclair oversees the adjudication of cases filed in ERO and supervises a staff of dispersed Administrative Judges who conduct hearings throughout the region. Mr. Sinclair is also responsible for the administrative functions, training, and supervision of the staff in the Indianapolis, Indiana, regional office.
Mr. Sinclair has spent his entire career with USDA and has been directly involved with administrative appeal processes since September 1989. Throughout his tenure, Mr. Sinclair has served on several intra-agency committees and task forces that developed operating procedures and protocols for the adjudication of administrative appeals. He has also made numerous presentations to NAD stakeholders about the administrative appeal process.
From January 1996 to May 2005, Mr. Sinclair served as the Regional Director in NAD’s Southern Regional Office and, from October 1994 through December 1995, served as the ERO Deputy Regional Director. Prior to the establishment of NAD, Mr. Sinclair served as an Assistant Area Supervisor and Hearing Officer in the Eastern Region of the Farmers Home Administration’s National Appeals Staff. He began his USDA career with the Farmers Home Administration in a County Office located in Northern Illinois. Mr. Sinclair received his Bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University, majoring in Agri-Business Management.
Mark G. Kooker
Regional Director – Southern Region, USDA National Appeals Division
Mark G. Kooker has served as the Regional Director of the National Appeals Division’s (NAD) Southern Regional Office (SRO) since December 2005. As the Regional Director, Mr. Kooker oversees the adjudication of appeal cases filed in SRO and supervises a staff of dispersed Administrative Judges who conduct hearings throughout the region. Mr. Kooker is also responsible for the administrative functions, training, and supervision of the staff in the Cordova, Tennessee, regional office.
Mr. Kooker was one of the original employees when NAD was created in 1994. During his tenure, Mr. Kooker served as a Regional Assistant Director, a Deputy Assistant Director and a Review Officer. A key component of Mr. Kooker’s activities through the years has been the providing of numerous outreach presentations to NAD stakeholders about the administrative appeals process.
Mr. Kooker’s Federal experience also includes five years with the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC). During that time, he served as a hearing officer, a marketing/advertising specialist, and an area loss adjustment specialist. Mr. Kooker also served as the Senior Assistant to the FCIC Manager. Mr. Kooker’s previous experience also includes six years of developing FCIC programs and marketing research for the University of Delaware, and eight years as the Senior Assistant to the Secretary, Delaware Department of Agriculture.
Regional Director – Western Region, USDA National Appeals Division