U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments

US Department of Agriculture

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced the names of individuals who will hold key staff positions in Washington, D.C.

Rebecca Piazza was named Senior Advisor for Delivery in the Office of the Under Secretary for the Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Program Delivery at Nava Public Benefit Corporation. Previously, Piazza was the Acting Executive Director of 18F, a digital services agency within the General Services Administration (GSA), and was a technology consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. Piazza holds a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University in Louisiana.

Steffanie Bezruki was named Chief of Staff in Rural Business Services. During nearly seven years on Capitol Hill, Bezruki served in a variety of leadership positions including most recently as Legislative Director for Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer and, previously, as Senior Policy Advisor for Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. She holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Abbey Meller was named Confidential Assistant in the Office of Congressional Relations. She served as an Organizing Associate at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., and also served as a Voter Protection Associate for the Democratic Party in Georgia. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia.

Paul Zeiss was named Confidential Assistant in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. Before joining USDA, Zeiss served in various capacities on President Joe Biden’s campaign, most recently as a field organizer. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.

Tharun Vemulapalli was named Confidential Assistant in the Office of the Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. Vemulapalli served as a field organizer for the Democratic Party, working primaries, caucuses and the general election. He is a graduate of Bowdoin College in Maine.

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