Perdue announces Food and Nutrition Service appointees | TheFencePost.com

Perdue announces Food and Nutrition Service appointees

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today appointed three individuals to take high-level political posts within USDA's Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services mission area.

Perdue named Brandon Lipps as administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service, and also as acting deputy undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services until President Donald Trump nominates someone as undersecretary and the Senate has the opportunity to consider that nomination for confirmation.

Perdue also named Maggie Lyons as chief of staff and senior adviser to the undersecretary, and Kailee Tkacz as policy adviser.

"The health and nutrition programs administered by USDA play a tremendous role in the administration's efforts to improve education and job readiness," Perdue said. "I have no doubt that Brandon, Maggie and Kailee will help further our mission of feeding the world and making decisions in our nutrition programs that are science-based and data-driven."

Most recently, Lipps worked for the Texas Tech University System as the chief of staff and director of federal affairs in the Office of Chancellor Robert Duncan. Prior to joining the Texas Tech University System, he served as counsel and senior professional staff to the House Agriculture Committee. "While there, he led the nutrition policy team in developing the first reforms to, and fiscal savings from, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) since the welfare reforms of 1996," USDA said in a news release.

Lipps also served as Duncan's consultant, legislative aide and rural district director during his time as a Texas state senator. Lipps is also a former associate at the Lubbock law firm of Crenshaw, Dupree & Milam. He is from Woodson, Texas, and graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics and a law degree.

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Before joining USDA, Lyons was the senior government relations director for the National Grocers Association, where she coordinated the organization's positions on federal nutrition programs including SNAP and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs at the retailer level. She also assisted member stores with licensing issues and questions regarding those transactions, USDA said. Earlier, Lyons worked in the House and Senate. She grew up in Wilson, N.C., and graduated with a bachelor of arts in corporate communications from Elon University.

Tkacz most recently served as the director of food policy for the Corn Refiners Association. Earlier, she was director of government affairs for the Snack Food Association and a government affairs manager for the National Grocers Association. Tkacz grew up in upstate New York and has a bachelor of arts degree in political science, with a concentration in American politics and public policy, and a minor in history from the University at Buffalo.