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Media Communications Coordination

The Media Communications Coordination Team coordinates public and media communications for the Office of the Secretary, USDA general offices and mission areas, and develops policies and plans for effective execution of overall basic and operating policy for development and dissemination of public affairs information.

  • Coordinates response to inquiries from major national news outlets;
  • Coordinates development, production, and dissemination of Department-wide communications;
  • Develops national and significant Departmental news releases, statements for the media, letters-to-the editor, opinion-editorials and other information materials released through a variety of media;
  • Counsels and advises senior decision makers and agency information directors and their staff in serving the Department's many audiences;
  • Formulates policy and regulations for OC media coordination; and
  • Coordinates and reviews printed publications or reports prior to public release.

The team includes six communications coordinators serving as senior communications advisors to USDA's seven mission areas, working directly with Under Secretaries and top staff, as well as servicing the Secretary's Office and Departmental staff offices for media relations and press and public communications and strategic services.

For general queries about the Secretary’s priorities and schedule:

USDA Press: 202-720-4623

Communications Coordination Team

Coordinator Portfolio
Amanda D. Heitkamp
Rm 406-A, Whitten Building
Washington, DC 20250-1301
  • Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)
  • Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
  • Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA)
  • Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)
Angela Harless
Washington, DC 20250-1301
  • Departmental Administration
  • Federal Emergency Operations
Damon Thompson
Rm 319-A, Whitten Building
Washington, DC 20250-1301
  • Economic Research Service (ERS)
  • Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
  • National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)

Dirk Fillpot
Rm 405-A, Whitten Building
Washington, DC 20250-1301

  • Farm Service Agency (FSA)
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
  • Risk Management Agency (RMA)
Jacqueline Susmann
Rm 206-W, Whitten Building
Washington, DC 20250-1301
  • Rural Development (RD)
Michael Illenberg
Rm 408-A, Whitten Building
Washington, DC 20250-1301
  • USDA Forest Service (USFS)
  • Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)
  • Climate Hubs
  • Bio Preferred Program
Sally Gifford
Rm 407-A, Whitten Building
Washington, DC 20250-1301
  • Office of the Chief Economist
  • Foreign Agricultural Service
  • Beginning Farmers and Ranchers
  • Vets in Ag
  • Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  • Women in Agriculture
  • Office of Tribal Relations