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News Release

Release No. 0355.07
Contact:
Office of Communications (202) 720-4623

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CONNER ANNOUNCES NEW USDA COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2007- Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner today announced the selection of Chris Connelly as Director of Communications for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Connelly replaces Terri Teuber Moore, who has been named the Deputy Director of Communications for Policy and Planning at the White House.

"Chris Connelly brings broad experience in management and public policy communications, a shared belief in the importance of transparency and a commitment to continuing this department's reputation for responsiveness. He will be a great addition to the USDA team," Conner said. "Chris carries on a tradition that Terri helped to build through her commitment, integrity and insight, which have been invaluable to USDA. I'm confident that she will do well in her new role at the White House."

Connelly has served since 2001 as Chief of Staff and Communications Director for the Office of Representative Jo Ann Davis. Prior to that, he advised Members of Congress as Deputy Chief of Staff, Press Secretary and Assistant Press Secretary, as well as organizing and managing congressional staff. Connelly has served as a policy analyst and speechwriter on national issues. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Oral Roberts University and a Master of Arts in Public Policy from Regent University.

Connelly will assume his new role at USDA on Monday, December 3, as will Corry Schiermeyer, who will serve as Deputy Director of Communications.

Schiermeyer served in the Bush Administration for more than six years from 2001 to 2007 in various communications roles. She served as the National Security Council's Director for Global Communications from 2005-2007, the Deputy Associate Director of the White House Office of Global Communications from 2004-2005, the director of the U.S. Department of Energy press office from 2001-2004 and the Acting Director of Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Railroad Administration. Schiermeyer also worked as a reporter for USA Radio Network in Dallas, Texas from 1997-1998. Schiermeyer has a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from the University of North Texas. Most recently, she worked in the private sector as a public affairs consultant.

Teuber Moore has served as the USDA Director of Communications and Senior Adviser to the Secretary since March 2005. She guided the department's communications planning and preparations on issues ranging from avian influenza to the Administration's 2007 farm bill preparations and proposals. President Bush yesterday announced her appointment as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Communications for Policy and Planning.