House staffer, Monsanto vet named to top Interior posts

House staffer, Monsanto vet named to top Interior posts
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Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke appointed a House staffer and a former official at Monsanto to two top agency positions on Thursday. 

Zinke named Aurelia Skipwith deputy assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks; and Katharine MacGregor deputy assistant secretary for land and minerals management.

Skipwith, a biologist and lawyer, spent six and a half years at agriculture giant Monsanto before joining the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2013. 

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MacGregor is a House of Representatives veteran, working for former Rep. Thelma Drake (R-Va.), former House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorHillicon Valley: GOP leader wants Twitter CEO to testify on bias claims | Sinclair beefs up lobbying during merger fight | Facebook users experience brief outage | South Korea eyes new taxes on tech Sinclair hired GOP lobbyists after FCC cracked down on proposed Tribune merger California wildfires prompt deficit debate in Congress MORE (R-Va.) before joining the staff of an Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee in 2011. 

Skipwith will work on public lands and wildlife issues, and MacGregor will focus on energy development and public land use, according to the Interior Department. 

"I'm excited to appoint two women of extremely high caliber to help lead the Department of the Interior into the next century of service for the American people," Zinke said. 

"Ms. Skipwith and Ms. MacGregor bring with them decades of experience on natural resources, wildlife, agricultural and legal matters. I have no doubt they will help shape and strengthen the Department and allow us to better serve the American people as we manage and conserve our land and resources."

President Trump has yet to nominate the officials under which Skipwith and MacGregor will serve as deputies.