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Matt Paul new communications director at USDA

Matt Paul, who served as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's communications director and senior adviser when Vilsack was governor of Iowa, will become the communications director at the Agriculture Department on June 6.

Paul succeeds Chris Mather, who left to become communications director for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Paul began his career as a television and radio reporter in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Beginning in 1994 he served two mayors of Cedar Rapids as their spokesman before joining Vilsack's transition team in 1998 and working for him for eight years in the governor's office.

Paul managed the re-election campaign of Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, in 2008, and then joined Link Strategies, overseeing the Des Moines-based firm’s new-business focus and managing public affairs activities on behalf of business, non-profit and coalition group clients.