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Robert F. Flider

Bob Flider was named Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture by Governor Pat Quinn in February 2012.  In this cabinet-level position, Bob’s responsibilities include regulatory oversight of food safety, animal welfare, fuel quality and environmental programs and enhancing Illinois’ economy by promoting agribusiness and agricultural exports.  He serves as president of the Illinois Grain Insurance Corporation and is a member of numerous agriculture industry boards and commissions.  Prior to being named Director of Agriculture, he was the Broadband Impact Director at the Partnership for a Connected Illinois.

Bob has more than 20 years of public sector experience, including eight years in the Illinois House of Representatives (2003-2011), where he served as Chairman of the Electric Generation & Commerce Committee and as a member of various other committees, including Agriculture & Conservation, Ethanol Oversight, Elementary & Secondary Education, Veterans Affairs and Local Government.  Bob sponsored and passed more than 30 significant bills, including energy and Open Meetings Act reform measures. 

He also served eight years as Mayor of Mt. Zion, IL (1995-2003), where he worked with community leaders to develop a comprehensive community and economic development plan.  He lowered water rates for most residential users, and obtained millions in state funding for infrastructure and recreation improvements, including a community park and bike trail.

Bob also has more than 20 years of private sector experience in the electric and gas energy industry (1983-2003) with Central Illinois Public Service Co. and Illinois Power, where he served as Director of Regulatory Affairs.  At Illinois Power, he served as project manager of a legislative initiative leading to competitive electric generation and lower utility rates in Illinois.  And, he was a newspaper reporter in Mattoon and Charleston (1980-1983).

A 1975 graduate of Mattoon High School, Bob received his BA in journalism from Eastern Illinois University (1979) and a Certificate of Business Administration from the University of Illinois (1999).  He attended the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation (1997).

Bob has also dedicated much of his time to community service. He is currently a member of the United Way of Illinois Board of Directors, and has served his community as a board member of the Macon County Economic Development Corporation, Red Cross, Easter Seals and Jaycees.

He and his wife, Jean, live in rural Decatur.  They have three grown children and two grandchildren.