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U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments

WASHINGTON, May 11, 2021 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the names of individuals who will hold key staff positions in Washington, D.C.

Kate Waters was named Press Secretary in the Office of Communications. Recently, Waters served as the Communications Director on the re-election campaign of Senator Mark Warner. She previously served as the traveling Press Secretary for Kamala Harris for the People and as Digital Director and Deputy Press Secretary in the office of Senator Kamala Harris. Additionally, she has held roles with Abby Finkenauer for Congress, Hillary for America, and in the office of Senator Tom Harkin. Waters is a graduate of James Madison University.

Eddie Shimkus was named Legislative Advisor in the Office of Congressional Relations. Shimkus served as the Legislative Director in the office of Congressman Sander Levin of Michigan. Previously, he was the manager of presidential communications at George Washington University and held several roles in the office of Congressman Tim Bishop of New York. Shimkus graduated from American University with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science.

Laura Driscoll was named Legislative Advisor in the Office of Congressional Relations. Driscoll most recently served as Legislative Director for Congressman Antonio Delgado of New York. Previously, she held roles in the offices of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Congresswoman Judy Chu of California. Driscoll holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Southern California. She will begin on May 17th.

Jon Hurst was named Special Assistant in the Office of the Deputy Secretary. Hurst served as a Regional Organizing Director for the North Carolina Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign. Previously, he was a Field Organizer for Joe Biden for President and an associate producer at the Foreign Policy Association. Hurst is a graduate of Vanderbilt University. He will begin on May 17th.

“Kate, Eddie, Laura, and Jon are essential, welcomed additions to the team at USDA,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Their expertise will serve as valuable assets to the work being done at the Department.”


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