WASHINGTON, December 9, 2022 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the names of individuals who will hold senior staff positions in Washington, D.C.
Katie Zenk has been promoted to Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs
Most recently, Zenk served as Chief of Staff for USDA’s Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP). Prior to joining USDA in 2021, she held several positions with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, and served in several roles with Land O’Lakes, Inc. Zenk is a native of Danube, Minn., and holds a bachelor’s degree in applied economics from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University, and a master’s degree in business administration from Indiana University. In her new role, Zenk will divide portfolios with current Deputy Under Secretary Mae Wu who will continue in her current role.
Sanah Baig has been promoted to Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics
Baig joined the Biden-Harris Administration in 2021 as the Chief of Staff for USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics (REE) Mission Area. Prior, she worked in the nonprofit sector as Chief of Staff for global research institution Good Food Institute and as Program Director for the National Association of Counties. During the Obama-Biden Administration, she held several appointments over six years, including as an Advisor in the Office of the Secretary, Special Advisor in Rural Development, and Confidential Assistant in the Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP) mission area. Baig is proud to have started her career as an intern at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and to be graduate of the University of Virginia.
Lanon Baccam has been promoted to Senior Advisor in the Office of Communications
Since joining the Biden-Harris Administration in January 2021, Baccam has served as the Director of Scheduling and Advance. Previously, he served as the Deputy State Director for Iowa during the Biden-Harris general election campaign. He also served as an appointee in the Obama-Biden Administration, including as Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services and USDA’s Military Veteran Agriculture Liaison. Baccam is the son of Tai dam refugees and an Army National Guard Veteran who served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He holds a bachelor’s degree in politics and economics from Drake University.
Tien Nguyen has been promoted to Director of Scheduling and Advance in the Office of the Secretary
Nguyen joined the Biden-Harris Administration in 2021 as the Deputy Director of Scheduling and Advance in the Office of the Secretary. Prior to joining USDA, she garnered over ten years of advance experience, including on numerous presidential campaigns and in the Obama-Biden Administration. Nguyen has also worked in marketing and public relations for international startups and Fortune 500 companies, as well as consulted for nonprofits and government organizations. The daughter of Vietnamese coffee farmers, she immigrated to Colorado as a child and was the first of her family to attend college. Nguyen graduated from Colorado College with a Bachelor of Arts in International Political Economy and a minor in Asian Studies.
Juan Bautista Dominguez has been promoted to Deputy Director of Advance in the Office of Communications
Dominguez joined USDA as the Advance Lead in the Office of the Secretary in 2021. He has several years of operational field logistics and communications experience and has held numerous leadership positions on Gubernatorial, U.S. Senate and Presidential races. In addition, Dominguez has served in senior advisor capacities for national and international non-profit organizations focused on health care reform, climate change and economic development. A graduate of Vassar College, he is a first generation Spanish bilingual American of Argentine heritage who grew up in the Garden State.
Lauren Atzenbeck has been promoted to Deputy Director of Scheduling in the Office of the Secretary
Since joining USDA in January 2021, Atzenbeck has held positions as the Scheduler in the Office of the Secretary and as the Special Advisor to the Chief of Staff. Prior, she worked for the Biden-Harris Coordinated Campaign in Colorado and the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. Atzenbeck has also worked for the Offices of Senator Mark Udall and Senator Richard Durbin. She holds a law degree from the University of Colorado Law School and bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Business Administration from the University of Northern Colorado.
Steffanie Bezruki has been promoted to Chief of Staff for the Under Secretary of Rural Development
Bezruki joined USDA in January 2021 as Chief of Staff for the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS). Prior to her tenure at USDA, she served in a variety of leadership positions on Capitol Hill including most recently as Legislative Director for Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer and, previously, as Senior Policy Advisor for Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. Her policy areas of focus included agriculture, rural development, health care, and issues impacting small businesses. Bezruki is originally from Central Illinois and holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Jimmy Dahman has been promoted to Chief of Staff for the Rural Business-Cooperative Service
Dahman has served as the Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of USDA Rural Development since 2021. Prior to joining USDA, Dahman spent ten years organizing for causes and candidates across the country, which included serving as the Coordinated Campaign Director for the Biden-Harris campaign in Ohio. In 2017, he founded and operated a civic engagement non-profit organization that helped constituents engage with their elected representatives. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University in Northeast Ohio.