U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments

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U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments

WASHINGTON, November 15, 2023 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the names of individuals who will hold senior staff positions in Washington, D.C.

Eric Womack has been named Deputy General Counsel in the Office of General Counsel

Most recently, Womack served on detail as an Associate Counsel for the Litigation Group in the White House Counsel’s Office. In this role, he provided legal advice on issues of critical importance to the administration, including the debt ceiling, artificial intelligence, and competition policy. Before his detail, Womack served as Assistant Director for the Department of Justice’s Civil Division Federal Programs Branch. In total, he worked 18 years in the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, starting as a Trial Attorney in the Honors Program. Before that, he served as a staff attorney for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and a law clerk for Judge James Turk in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia. Womack holds a Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Brian Sowyrda was named Director of External Affairs in the Office of Congressional Relations

Sowyrda joins USDA with years of strategic engagement and planning experience after serving in senior positions on Capitol Hill and campaigns across the country. He most recently served as Chief of Staff for Rep. Yadira Caraveo (CO-08), and before that for Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (NM-02), who is currently the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. In both roles, he helped establish offices for first-term members by building their teams, developing priorities, and creating outreach plans. As a campaign official, he worked in a leadership role at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), managing multiple federal, state, and local campaigns and advising congressional members and candidates on messaging, coalition building, and communications. Sowyrda holds a Master of Science in International Relations from Trinity College Dublin and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA.

Elaine Trevino has been appointed Associate Administrator in the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)

Trevino most recently served on a detail to the Department of Transportation addressing bottlenecks and improving the movement of U.S. exports and imports with a focus on agriculture. In that role, Trevino’s work was integral to the success of the White House Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force. Prior to working for the Biden-Harris Administration, Trevino was President of the Almond Alliance of California, a trade association for the almond industry while also serving on USDA’s Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC). Trevino was Deputy Secretary at the California Department of Food and Agriculture for two governors overseeing international export and trade programs.


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