President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Douglas Benevento to serve as the deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Benevento currently serves as associate deputy administrator of the EPA. Before that, Benevento served at the EPA as senior counselor for Regional Management and State Affairs and as Region 8 Administrator. He has also worked on energy and environmental issues at Xcel Energy.

President Trump has also nominated Mark Wesley Menezes to serve as the deputy secretary of energy. He currently serves as undersecretary of energy at the Department of Energy and is the principal adviser on energy policy and emerging energy technologies. Before coming to DOE, Menezes served as an executive with Berkshire Hathaway Energy in its Washington, D.C., office. He has also served as chief counsel of energy and environment for the United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, where he was chief negotiator in the enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Ryan Jackson’s last day as chief of staff at EPA is Feb. 21, when Michael Molina will serve as the acting chief of staff. It has been widely reported that Mandy Gunasekara will be the next chief of staff, but EPA would not confirm.

Ryan Jackson

Ryan Jackson

Michael Abboud's last day at EPA was Friday, Feb. 14. Abboud was the senior adviser in the Office of Public Affairs.

The White House Office of Management and Budget has added Denzel McGuire as the new program associate director for education and labor. She previously worked for the Grocery Manufacturers Association as the executive vice president of government relations.

CHS Inc. has hired Dan Mauer as its Washington representative focused on energy, tax, transportation, infrastructure and rural broadband issues. Before joining CHS, Mauer helped form the Porter Group in 2011, which is a D.C.-based lobbying firm. Before joining the firm, Mauer was a legislative analyst at the law firm Akerman Sentefitt and worked for Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., from 2007 to 2009.

Kevin McNamara has added the role of vice chairman of the board for Tyson Foods. McNamara currently serves as the lead independent director for the company.

Amy O’Shea has joined Certis USA as the new president and CEO. She assumes the role of president effective immediately and will assume the role of CEO on July 1. She succeeds Jow-Lih Su who has been in the role for the past 20 years. Before joining Certis USA, O'Shea spent 23 years in various leadership roles at FMC Corporation, most recently as vice president and business director for the North American region.

National Farmers Organization has reelected Paul Olson to serve a four-year term as president. Bruce Shultz of Montana was elected vice president of the organization. Olson is a third-generation farmer from Taylor, Wis., and joined National Farmers in 1969 as a high school senior.

Waterways Council Inc.’s (WCI) president and CEO since 2011, Michael Toohey, has announced he will retire from the organization. Before joining WCI, Toohey was a consultant for The Livingston Group. He also served as vice president, director of government relations, and senior Washington representative for Ashland Inc.

Jake Johnsen is the new chief of staff for Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky. He replaces Megan Bell, who has left the office. ... Austin Gage has been promoted to legislative director for Rogers. He covers the portfolio for animal welfare, trade, science, and technology. … William Tener has been promoted to legislative aide for Rogers. He covers the portfolio for energy, environmental protection, public lands and natural resources. He previously was a legislative correspondent.

Taylor Wiseman has been hired as the new staff assistant and legislative correspondent for the Senate Agriculture Committee. Her first day with the committee was yesterday. 

Nadgey Louis-Charles has joined the staff of Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., as the new press secretary. Louis-Charles previously served as the communications director for Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga.

Christine Sur now serves as the senior adviser of natural resources for Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif. Sur covers the portfolio for animal welfare, environmental protection, trade, public lands, natural resources, science and technology, and telecommunications. She previously served as a legislative assistant.

Amy Lawrence has been promoted to communications director for Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz. Lawrence previously served as the press secretary.

Claire Kaliban has been hired as the new staff assistant for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. She previously served as an intern on the committee. 

Ryan Kelly now works as the press secretary for Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis. He previously was a professional staff member for the House Administration Committee under Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich. 

J.J. Jones

J.J. Jones

J.J. Jones has been tapped to serve as the National Institute for Animal Agriculture’s (NIAA) interim executive director. Jones began his role in January 2020. Jones is a co-founder to Roots & Legacies Consulting, Inc. Jones is a is a graduate of Kansas State University, where he majored in animal sciences & industry with a minor in international agriculture.

The Minnesota Beef Council has selected Allison VanDerWal as the new executive director and beef quality assurance coordinator. VanDerWal graduated from the University of Minnesota in May 2019 with her master’s degree in ruminant nutrition. She is a native of Sanborn, Minn.

D. Howard Doster of Waynesville, Ind., passed away on Feb. 13, at the age of 86. Doster was passionate about helping Land Grant Universities pursue their mission to provide public domain research for all. He was a professor emeritus of agricultural economics at Purdue University, and actively worked to start a new 4-H Farm Management project to teach 4-H kids and their parents better farm practices. Doster earned three degrees from The Ohio State University in Agriculture Economics and was a Navy veteran. He played baseball and was even recruited by the Kansas City Royals. As he grew older, softball became his sport of choice where he played on a National Senior League Championship team. He coached several softball teams, including the Purdue women's team.

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