Peter Wright was confirmed by the Senate 52-38 to serve as the assistant administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency for the Office of Land and Emergency Management. Wright has been serving as special counsel at the EPA, and previously in his career worked for nearly 20 years as managing counsel at Dow Chemical.

The United Fresh Produce Association promoted Amanda Griffin to vice president of education and program management. Griffin previously worked to support the organization’s meetings and member programs. She joined United Fresh in 2013, and continues to manage its Produce Industry Leadership Program.

Maggie Sklar is leaving the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where she served as senior counsel to chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, until his departure at the end of the month. In her role, Sklar has been responsible for advising on all domestic-facing rulemakings and staff actions. Before joining the chairman’s office, Sklar served as an associate director in the Office of International Affairs, and before that she was senior counsel to former CFTC Commissioner Mark Wetjen.

James Shafter is rejoining Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner's Merger and Acquisitions and Corporate Finance Group as senior adviser in the St. Louis office. Shafter was previously with the firm as counsel. Prior to rejoining, Shafter worked at COFCO International in Geneva, where he was general counsel. Prior to that, Shafter was vice president of mergers & acquisitions with Archer Daniels Midland Company.

amanda griffin

Amanda Griffin

Osborn Barr | Paramore (OBP) hired David Camma to serve as the managing director for its Nashville office. Camma brings over 20 years of experience in media, advertising, and marketing industries. He most recently served as the executive vice president and director of account management for GS&F agency in Nashville. Along with the addition of Camma, OBP promoted Matt Burch from vice president of strategy to vice president/content strategy director. Ben Bohling has been promoted from creative director to co-executive creative director of OBP.

Alex Noffsinger is the new legislative assistant for The Russell Group. Noffsinger previously worked for the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, where he focused on international trade policy issues and domestic marketing issues. 

Micah Chambers now serves as the legislative director for Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., handling the energy, environmental protection, public lands and natural resources, and transportation portfolios. Chambers was previously staff director for Sen. Cramer on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's subcommittee for fisheries, water, and wildlife.

Sarah Abel is Rep. Ron Kind’s, D-Wis., new communications director. Abel had been communication director for Rep. Susie Lee, D-Nev., since January. Prior to that, she was the press secretary for the Nevada Democratic Party.

Alex Noffsinger 

Alex Noffsinger 

Mike DeFilippis moves to the office of Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., to serve as a legislative assistant covering the agriculture and food, energy, foreign trade, and public lands and natural resources portfolios. DeFilippis previously served in the office of Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, as his senior policy adviser.

Lizzie Messer is Rep. John Rutherford’s, R-Fla., new legislative assistant covering the agriculture, labor, and small business portfolios. She previously served in the office of Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., as his legislative aide.

Cody McClelland has left the office of Congressman Donald McEachin, D-Va., where he most recently served as the policy director covering agriculture and food, energy, telecommunications, and transportation and public works. McEachin’s office has not yet hired a replacement but in the meantime, Corey Solow has taken over the agriculture portfolio and Justin Goldberger has taken over telecommunications.

David Simon had his last day in Rep. Frederica Wilson’s, D-Fla., office last week, where he served as senior legislative assistant. Simon covered the animal, environmental protection, labor and employment and international affairs portfolios for Wilson. Jean Roseme has taken over the environmental issues portfolio until Wilson’s office names a replacement.

Alex Cisneros has been promoted to senior legislative assistant in Rep. Anthony Gonzalez’s, R-Ohio, office, covering energy, foreign trade, immigration, and telecommunications issues. He was promoted from legislative assistant. 

Tanner Palin now serves as the communications director for Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga. Palin most recently served as an associate and strategist at Devine Mulvey Longabaugh. He also served as a researcher and press assistant on Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign.

Acacia Bamberg Salatti is the new chief of staff for Rep. Jahana Hayes, D-Conn. She previously served as the vice president of external affairs for Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic. Salatti replaces Joe Dunn, who served as Hayes’s chief of staff since January. 

Sean Sibley is promoted to press secretary for Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill. Sibley previously served as deputy press secretary and staff assistant.

Katie Kentfield is the newest staff assistant for Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan. Kentfield most recently worked as an intern on the House Ways and Means Committee under Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas.

Isabelle Bock is Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán’s, D-Calif., newest staff assistant. Bock previously served as an intern for Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., and Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y.

Ada Waelder and David Gillers have left the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee where they worked under Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. Waelder served as a professional staff member and Gillers served as the senior counsel. Before that, they both served on the staff of Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.

Cicely Batie has left the office of Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., where she served as the legislative aide managing the Environment and Public Works Committee portfolio and handled the correspondence to constituents on agriculture, energy, and natural resources issues.

Cole Staudt has left the office of Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., where he served as communications director. Before this role, Staudt served as the communications director for former Rep. David Young, R-Iowa.

Stuart Varvel has left the office of Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., where he served as legislative assistant covering foreign affairs issues. Prior to this role, Varvel worked for the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce Subcommittee on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Tester’s office has not yet hired a replacement.

Rice 11

Rice 22

Top: USA Rice Farmers, Joe Mencer and Nicole Van Vleck. Bottom: The Rice Council, Marvin Cochran and Byron Holmes.

The USA Rice Farmers have appointed Nicole Montna Van Vleck, a California rice farmer, as the new chair of the organization and Kirk Satterfield, a Mississippi rice farmer, as vice chair. Van Vleck succeeds Joe Mencer. There also was a change in leadership for the USA Rice Council with Arkansas rice farmer Byron Holmes named the new chair, succeeding Mississippi rice farmer Marvin Cochran. Each new appointee will serve a two-year term that begins August 1, 2019.

AgBiome Innovations hired Adam Burnhams to serve as the new vice president of market and customer strategy. Burnhams previously served 10 years at Sipcam Agro USA, most recently as vice president of marketing and sales. Before Sipcam Agro, Burnhams worked for BASF Agricultural Products and American Cyanamid in the U.S., Germany and the UK.

Food technologist Doug Engle retires after 35 years with USDA’s Western Wheat Quality Lab. He will remain at the lab, based on Washington State University’s campus, for two years to ease the transition of hiring a replacement, but he’ll be working in a new position funded by the Idaho Wheat Commission, Oregon Wheat Commission and Washington Grain Commission.

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