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RISING WATERS. Mary Waters is the new president of the North American Millers' Association, a group that represents the grain milling industry. Waters spent the past five years working for the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corp., which provides financing for agricultural real estate and rural housing loans. During former President George W. Bush's first term, she was assistant secretary for congressional relations at USDA. Waters has worked on many farm bills over the years, and her time under Veneman included working on the giant 2002 bill. Early in her career, Waters directed an agriculture task force for a Republican research committee chaired by the late Rep. Edward Madigan, R-Ill. Waters later worked for former Rep. Larry Hopkins, R-Ky.

TALENT POOL. Heath Hall has been promoted at the Heritage Foundation. As part of the think tank's Leadership for America initiative, he'll handle the portfolio of the American Leadership, Protect America and Rule of Law programs. The senior policy analyst has been working at Heritage with his old boss, former Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., as part of the organization's national defense policy team. Hall had worked as senior legislative assistant to Talent., which included dealing with appropriations, budget and welfare policy. He was director of the District of Columbia's Committee on Public Services. He also owns a business called Pork Barrel BBQ. Hall graduated from Truman State University and got a law degree from the University of Missouri. A new addition at Heritage is Brian Blake, who will have the Leadership for America initiative portfolio in education, energy and environment and enterprise and free markets. Blake recently worked in the Washington office of General Electric. He's a former deputy chief of staff in the Office of National Drug Control Policy.


FINANCIAL GROWTH. With a big push in Congress for a financial reform bill, the Financial Services Roundtable will be busy in the coming weeks. Its latest hire is Brad Ipema, a senior counsel for legal and regulatory affairs. The former Treasury Department official recently worked for the Regulatory Fundamentals Group in New York City. The Financial Services Roundtable is headed by former Rep. Steve Bartlett, R-Texas. In addition, the FSR roster includes Paul Leonard, vice president of government affairs for the group's housing policy council, and a former chief of staff to Rep. Michael Castle, R-Del.; and Jill Hershey, a vice president of government affairs at FSR who was once an aide to former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.

This article appears in the April 17, 2010 edition of NJ Daily.

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