Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Doug O'Brien Joins White House Domestic Policy Council

We are delighted to announce that another one of our distinguished LL.M. alumni has an exciting new position.

Doug O’Brien, who has been serving as the USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Rural Development, has now joined the the White House Domestic Policy Council. There, he will coordinate the White House Rural Council and take the lead on a number of Obama administration rural development initiatives.

During his tenure at USDA, Doug served in several high level capacities, as senior advisor to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and as Chief of Staff to then Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.

When the Hagstrom Report announced the new appointment it noted Doug's work on many significant projects at USDA including "the minority farmer class action lawsuits, the Know Your Farmer Know Your Food program, the bio-economy, and targeting resources to impoverished rural areas."

Before working at USDA, Doug served as the Assistant Director of the Ohio Agriculture Department, Senior Adviser to Iowa Democratic Gov. Chet Culver, and Counsel to the Senate Agriculture Committee when Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, was the top Democrat on the committee.

We were pleased to have Doug as a colleague here at the Law School when he worked with us in a joint appointment with the Drake University Agricultural Law Center.  Previous positions include work for former Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa, and as a clerk for the Iowa Supreme Court.

Doug is a graduate of Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, the University of Iowa Law School, and the University of Arkansas LL.M. Program in Agricultural Law.

Doug grew up on a diversified hog farm in Dubuque County, Iowa and has dedicated his career to agriculture and rural policy.

Congratulations, Doug!

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