Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has named five people to senior staff positions at USDA, including two advisory positions in his office. 

Regina Black has been promoted to senior advisor for trade and national security in the Office of the Secretary. Previously, she was chief of staff for the Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs mission area. Her experience includes time at the U.S. Dairy Export Council and an array of roles in the USDA during the Obama administration. Black holds a master’s degree from the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University. 

The new senior advisor for the Office of the Secretary is Silvia Fabela. A Monmouth College graduate, she has experience working on economic justice, public safety, immigrant protection and housing issues. Fabela has also spent time with Local Progress, the Center for Popular Democracy, AFL-CIO and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. 

Jason Lumina will be chief of staff for the Rural Utilities Service. He served as an aide to Rep. Jim Cooper, D- Tenn., and also was on the staff of the House Budget Committee. He graduated from Binghamton University and has a master’s degree from Syracuse University. 

Malikha Daniels, a former aide to the House Agriculture Committee, will be legislative adviser for the Office of Congressional Relations. The University of Illinois at Chicago and American University graduate was staff director for House Ag's former Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research. She has also spent time with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and worked for Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D- N.Y.,  Rep. Dwight Evans, D- Pa., Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., and the USDA Agricultural Research Service.

Claire Sierawski has been chosen as senior energy counselor in the Office of the Undersecretary for Rural Development. Her most recent appointment was in the White House as special assistant to the president for climate change finance. She has experience in clean energy development and rural electrification from roles with the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. Sierawski has a master’s degree from Princeton University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh. 

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