Two former National Grocers Association staff members have been chosen for a senior leadership roles in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS) division.
Maggie Lyons, who previously served as NGA’s senior government relations director, has been named chief of staff and senior advisor to the under secretary while Kailee Tkacz, formerly NGA’s government affairs manager, will serve as policy advisor.
Brandon Lipps will serve as the administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service, as well as acting deputy under secretary of FNCS until the Senate confirms a permanent presidentially-nominated appointee.
“The health and nutrition programs administered by USDA play a tremendous role in the administration’s efforts to improve education and job readiness,” said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. “I have no doubt that Brandon, Maggie, and Kailee will help further our mission of feeding the world and making decisions in our nutrition programs that are science-based and data-driven.”
Before joining the USDA, Lyons coordinated all issues, such as the SNAP and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs at the retailer level for NGA, which also included assisting member stores with licensing issues and questions regarding those transactions. Prior to the NGA, Lyons worked on Capitol Hill in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
Prior to her new role at the USDA, Kailee Tkacz served as the director of food policy for the Corn Refiners Association (CRA), prior to which she served as director of government affairs for the Snack Food Association and earlier, as NGA’s government affairs manager.