WASHINGTON, D.C. — The White House has announced Kelliann Blazek as the new special assistant to the president for agriculture and rural policy.
The White House rural envoy will work closely with the executive branch, especially the USDA.
Blazek’s role will include advising the president on policies related to rural investments and infrastructure, including improving roads and expanding internet access in rural areas.
Her appointment comes after some farm-state lawmakers and rural advocates pressed Biden to name a White House policy point person to focus on challenges in rural America.
Blazek was one of several policy staff appointed by Biden Friday.
“These qualified, impressive and dedicated individuals reflect the diversity and strength of America and will play critical roles advancing the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to tackling the crises we face and building back our country better,” a White House statement said Friday about the new appointees.
According to a White House statement, Blazek most recently served as the first director of Wisconsin’s Office of Rural Prosperity, an agency created by Gov. Tony Evers in 2020 to support the state’s rural communities.
Prior to holding that position, at different times, Blazek worked as counsel to U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, taught food and law policy at George Mason University, worked at the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.
Blazek holds a degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School and grew up on her family’s farm in Wisconsin.