WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on May 11 announced it had filled four staff positions.
Within USDA’s Office of Congressional Relations, Laura Driscoll will serve as legislative adviser. Driscoll holds a holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Southern California and is enrolled in the American University Washington College of Law with a projected graduation date of 2024.
She previously worked in the offices of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Congresswoman Judy Chu of California, and most recently Congressman Antonio Delgado of New York as legislative director.
In the Office of the Deputy Secretary, Jon Hurst was named as a special assistant. Hurst’s hiring at the USDA follows his stint as regional recount director with the North Carolina Democratic Party. Previously he was a regional organizing director with the North Carolina Democratic Party Coordinating Campaign and a field organizer for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.
Hurst holds a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Vanderbilt University. His experience also includes the Foreign Policy Association where he produced an episode of “Great Decisions on the State Department” for broadcast on PBS, a US representative for Nevera Solidària, intern to the mayor of Philadelphia in the office of grants, and a press and legislative intern for Representative Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania.
In the Department’s Office of Congressional Relations, Eddie Shimkus was named legislative adviser. He most recently was the legislative director in the office of Representative Sander Levin of Michigan. Shimkus, a journalism and political science graduate of American University, managed presidential communications at George Washington University, held several roles in the office of Congressman Tim Bishop of New York, including legislative director, and was a finance assistant for a consulting firm.
In the USDA Office of Communications, Kate Waters was named press secretary. Her previous roles include communications director of Senator Mark Warner’s re-election campaign, traveling press secretary for Kamala Harris’s 2019 presidential campaign, and various roles with Abby Finkenauer for Congress, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, and in the offices of Senator Tom Harkin and Senator Harris. Waters is a graduate of James Madison University.
“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.”