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WASHINGTON, September 17, 2013 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today the appointment of Brian T. Baenig as Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The position was recently vacated by Krysta Harden upon her confirmation as Deputy Secretary of USDA. With Baenig serving as USDA Chief of Staff, Vilsack also announced that Deputy Assistant Secretary Ann Wright will serve in an acting capacity as Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations.
"Brian brings to this position sound judgment, strong leadership and a long history of service to U.S. agriculture," said Vilsack. "He has already played a leading role in USDA's effort to revitalize the rural economy, and I am highly confident that he will continue to achieve great things for rural America as Chief of Staff."
Baenig has served since 2011 as Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations at USDA. He previously served as the Deputy Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, where he facilitated domestic and international marketing of U.S. agriculture. From 2009 to 2011, he served as Deputy Staff Director on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Prior to that, he served as Senior Policy Advisor to Senator Leahy and as staff on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He also served for several years as a Legislative Assistant for Senator Paul Wellstone.