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USDA announces new senior staff appointments

These appointments include experts from diverse backgrounds in conservation, agricultural policy and food and nutrition services.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has revealed several key senior staff appointments in its Washington, D.C., offices, bolstering its leadership across various departments.

Alysia K. Peters takes on the role of Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the Office of External and Intergovernmental Affairs. Before her appointment, Peters served as the director of the Office of Gifts and Grants Management at the Peace Corps and has a robust background in legislative and policy direction from her time in Nevada's state government and political campaigns.

Dr. Alexandra Lawrence has been appointed as the Chief of Staff for the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Dr. Lawrence, with a distinguished career spanning various conservation and science policy roles, including at the Peace Corps and Ocean Conservancy, brings extensive expertise in integrating community engagement and equity into conservation efforts.

Ethan Holmes is named Senior Policy Advisor for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Holmes previously advised on agricultural policy at the United States Trade Representative’s office and brings a strong background in economic policy from his tenure with U.S. Representative Ron Kind.

Sakeenah Shabazz steps into the role of Senior Policy Advisor for the Food and Nutrition Service, focusing on implementing strategies from the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. Her previous positions include Policy Director at the Berkeley Food Institute and several roles centered on nutrition assistance and policy.

Maya Cohn and Maya Johnson have both been appointed as Policy Advisors for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, coming from backgrounds in environmental justice and policy, and U.S. policy and advocacy, respectively.

These appointments come at a crucial time as the USDA continues to push forward initiatives across a broad spectrum of agricultural, environmental and nutritional policies, aiming to strengthen its mission in fostering safe, sustainable, and nutritious food systems in the United States.

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