May 22, 2009
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the names of additional people who will hold staff positions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The U.S. Senate confirmed David J. Hayes as a top Interior Department deputy after a delay amid a battle over the agency's new rules on oil and gas drilling. Hayes is a natural resources lawyer with experience in federal lands issues.
Lisa Pino will serve as deputy administrator for USDA's Food and Nutrition Service. Pino most recently served as director of public affairs for the International Institute of the Americas College and has worked with the Florence Immigrant Rights and Refugee Project as well as the Community Legal Services Farmworker Unit.
Brandon Willis will serve as confidential assistant for USDA's Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service. For the past three years, Willis has been the agriculture legislative assistant for Sen. Max Baucus (Mont.). He grew up on a third generation sheep ranch in northern Utah and earned his bachelor's degree in crop and soil science from Utah State University. He also has a law degree from the University of Wyoming.
Justin Hatmaker was named special assistant at the Food Safety and Inspection Service. Hatmaker most recently served as the field director for Barack Obama's Campaign for Change in Nebraska and also worked in six states for President Obama's primary campaign.
Natural Resources Conservation Service named Julie Grogan-Brown as confidential assistant. Grogan-Brown most recently worked as a field organizer for the Campaign for Change in Nevada.
Orrin Evans, special assistant for the Office of Communications recently worked on President Obama's presidential campaign as one of the field operatives in Iowa, California, Texas and Indiana.
Magdey Abdallah, confidential assistant at USDA's Rural Development, recently served as an associate in the Office of White House Counsel. During the 2008 general election, he was a regional field director for the Obama campaign in Michigan.