Starling to succeed Green as USDA chief of staff
May 15, 2018
Ray Starling, the special assistant to President Donald Trump for agriculture and agriculture trade on the National Economic Council, will succeed Heidi Green as chief of staff for Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA confirmed over the weekend.
Green, a Georgian, has long worked with Perdue.
The change in staff is expected to take place on June 1.
In a statement, Perdue said, "Heidi Green's roots have called her home and she will be rejoining her family in Georgia. Heidi's husband and two young children made significant sacrifices so that she could help us at USDA, and we thank them for their patience.
"Her leadership during the transition of administrations and direction of the department through the first year of our tenure have been key to setting the course toward achieving our goals at USDA.
"Heidi built a great team, which she will hand off to her successor, Ray Starling. Ray enjoys a strong reputation in the agricultural community and already has been working closely with USDA as a leading voice for agriculture in the administration. USDA and its customers will be well-served by his guidance. We wish Heidi well, and welcome Ray to the team."
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Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, said in a statement, "While our time to work together has been brief, I have come to know Ray as a trusted adviser on issues near and dear to the heart of the American farmer. We will miss his expertise, his southern charm, and the sincerity with which he approached his work. Secretary Perdue has gained a fierce advocate for agriculture, and I wish Ray the very best."
No announcement has been made regarding a successor to Starling at the White House.
Before joining the Trump administration, Starling was chief of staff, general counsel and senior policy adviser for Sen. Tom Tillis, R-N.C., and before that was general counsel in the Office of the Speaker of the North Carolina House.
Starling also worked as lawyer at Hunton & Williams, a law firm.
He has a bachelor of science in agricultural and extension education from North Carolina State University and a law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law.