Meet the Board – Phyllis K. Fong
As Inspector General (IG) for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a position she has held since December 2002, Phyllis K. Fong is the senior oversight official for one of the largest and most diverse departments in the federal government. USDA’s mission includes the management of traditional farm programs, private lands conservation, domestic food assistance, agriculture research and education, agricultural marketing, international trade, meat and poultry inspection, forestry, and rural development programs.
Ms. Fong is responsible for audits, evaluations, investigations, and law enforcement efforts, relating to USDA’s programs and operations. Her office provides leadership in promoting economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in USDA programs and addressing fraud, waste, and abuse.
Ms. Fong was recently elected as the first Chair of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), which was established by the Inspector General Reform Act of 2008. CIGIE’s members include 67 federal Inspectors General, and the organization’s mission is to promote economy and effectiveness in federal programs through coordinated government-wide activities.
Prior to her appointment at USDA, Ms. Fong served as the Inspector General of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) from April 1999 until December 2002. A career member of the Senior Executive Service, she had also held several positions at SBA OIG, including Assistant Inspector General for Management and Legal Counsel (1994-1999) and Assistant Inspector General for Management and Policy (1988-1994). She also served as Assistant General Counsel for the Legal Services Corporation (1981-1983) and as an attorney with the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (1978-1981).
Ms. Fong was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. She graduated from Pomona College with a B.A. degree in Asian studies and earned her J.D. degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law. Ms. Fong is a member of the Tennessee and District of Columbia bars. She and her husband, Paul Tellier, have two children.