WASHINGTON, July 5, 2017 - President Trump intends to nominate Peter Davidson, senior vice president for congressional relations at Verizon Communications, as general counsel at the Commerce Department. 

Davidson has also served as general counsel to the U.S. Trade Representative and general counsel and policy director to the majority leader of the House of Representatives… The president also selected Jason Kearns to be a member of the U.S. International Trade Commission. Kearns currently serves as chief international trade counsel to the Democratic staff of the House Ways and Means Committee. Before that, he served for three years in the Office of the General Counsel to the USTR.

In other trade news, Alan Wolff, a senior counsel with Dentons LLP, has been appointed deputy director-general at the World Trade Organization, replacing fellow American David Shark, who has served in the secretariat since 2013. Wolff held senior trade positions as deputy USTR and as USTR general counsel during the Carter and Ford administrations.

Eric Bohl is the new director of national legislative programs for the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation. Bohl has been serving as the chief of staff for Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., Previously, he was s chief of staff and legislative director for another Missouri lawmaker, Rep. Vicky Hartzler.

Colton Flower has joined the National Corn Growers Association as a legislative assistant. The recent University of Nebraska-Lincoln grad succeeds Sarah Doese, who has been hired as a legislative correspondent for Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb. Also departing NCGA is Layla Soberanis, who was named legislative affairs director for the National Association of Chemical Distributors, where she will work on agriculture, labor, trade, and transportation issues. She was previously manager of public policy and regulatory affairs at NCGA.

Former Kansas Congressman Tim Huelskamp has been named the next president of the Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank. He’ll succeed Joseph Bast, who has led the Illinois-based non-profit since its founding in 1984. Huelskamp lost his re-election bid in 2016 after years of tangling with GOP leaders.

John Maraganore has succeeded Ron Cohen as chairman of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. Maraganore is CEO of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Mark Weber says he plans to retire as director of the Northern Crops Institute at the end of the year. Weber is a former executive director of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association and executive director of the North Dakota Soybean Council and Growers Association.

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy has announced its sixth annual U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award winners. The program recognizes dairy farms, businesses and partnerships whose practices improve the well-being of people and animals. The winner in the “Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability” category is Kinnard Farms, of Casco, Wisconsin, where the Kinnard family milk more than 7,000 cows, “a scale that allows them to maximize water, soil and cow comfort while supporting their rural community.” Click here for a list of award winners.

Republican Brendan Carr, general counsel for the Federal Communications Commission, is being nominated by President Trump to fill one of two vacancies on the FCC. One vacancy, to be filled by a Democratic candidate, remains for the commission to be back to its full five-member complement. The president on June 14 named former Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, to fill one vacancy. No more than three members of the FCC may be of the same political party.