Concannon served as Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Sciences at the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 2009 until 2017. He administered USDA's nutrition and food security programs; promoted dietary guidelines and oversaw food assistance programs serving one in four Americans, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education; National School Lunch, School Breakfast and Summer Food Service Programs; Child and Adult Care Food Program; Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children; Commodity Supplemental Food Program; Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations and Emergency Food Assistance Program, among others.
Previously, Concannon was the director of state health and human services departments in Maine, Oregon and Iowa. He has served as president of the American Public Welfare Association; president of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors; and trustee of the American Public Human Services Association. Concannon received the Excellence in Public Service Award from American Academy of Pediatrics (2017); the Board Award from the Congressional Hunger Center (2015); the Keep the Dream Alive Award from Catholic Charities USA (2012); the Leadership Award from the National WIC Association (2012) and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Public Human Services Association (2007).
He received an honorary doctorate in 2013 from Saint Francis Xavier University in Canada, where he received his undergraduate and master of social work degrees.