Since its founding in 1929, OPEDA has thrived under seven Republican and seven Democratic Administrations.   In recent decades, there has been an accelerated demand for professional employees with advanced degrees and highly specialized technical capabilities. New technologies often must accommodate new, and complex environmental considerations.   USDA professional employees must have the capability of providing solutions to new challenges, so that US food and fiber products are available at economically affordable prices to US consumers-- as well as competitive in world markets.

  • OPEDA keeps its members informed through newsletters, alert mailings, e-mail, web site, and events.
  • OPEDA has been the foremost exponent of the principle of pay comparability-with-private industry and will continue its efforts in this regard, especially in pursuit of compliance with the Pay Comparability Act of 1990.
  • OPEDA was instrumental in gaining increased annuities for retirees and their survivors, and has been active in efforts to gain equal treatment for women in these benefits.
  • OPEDA voiced  opposition to House and Senate Budget Resolutions to change the federal annuity computation from the highest three years of salary to the highest five.
  • OPEDA protested a House proposal to raise employee contributions to retirement by 2.5 percent.
  • OPEDA urged key Representatives to oppose a plan to shift health care premium increases to federal employees, absolving the government of responsibility to held hold down health cost increases.
  • OPEDA was a pioneer in advancing optional retirement at full annuity at age 55 after 30 years of service, with became law in 1966.
The Organization Of Professional Employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture


What We Do

OPEDA Board and Council (2019-2020)

Organization of Professional Employees of the US Department of Agriculture

P.O. Box 23762 Washington, D.C. 20026


phone: 202.720.4898

Volunteer Opportunities

10-20 hours/week, Flexible Hours,

Location: OPEDA National Office, Room 1212, USDA South Building, 14th and Independence Ave., Washington DC

OPEDA is looking for two part‐time volunteers to assist in pursuing the legislative, member services, and professional development needs of the Organization. Duties may include , preparing documentation to support the needs of the organization; helping to recruit new members, and developing and implementing new plans and programs to support the members. This is an opportunity for retirees to stay active within the USDA, and to support the Organization and its employees. 

1. These are not paid positions
2. OPEDA will reimburse commuting costs for using public transportation to/from Washington, DC, and for local travel to attend meetings

If you are interested, please contact Dana Manning, Director of Communications and Outreach, at

Ali Muhammad, President  >> bio

Dr. Dora (Holly) Hambley-Hayes, Executive Director>> bio

Frederick Cheng, Treasurer 

Richard Fierroz, Public Service VP

Teresa Pickett Wade, Membership VP

Lisa Mason, Work, Life and Wellness VP

Aline Assad, Profesionalism VP

Ray Grow. Region 1 Council Member

Shannon Boehm, Region 2 Council Member

Alexandra Smith, Region 4 Council Member

Janice-Renee Allen, Region 5 Council Member

Wilhelmina Bratton, Region 7 Council Member