Aaron Lavallee was appointed the Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Education (OPACE) in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) in June 2012. In this capacity, Lavallee is responsible for planning and executing communication programs that inform and educate a variety of audiences, including Congress, the media, stakeholder organizations, and consumers on FSIS policy and public health responsibilities and activities, foodborne illness prevention, and safe food handling. He is accountable for and oversees the performance management of a team of dedicated employees in four areas: The Congressional and Public Affairs Office, the Food Safety Education Staff, Freedom of Information Act Staff and the Digital Executive Correspondence Staff. Lavallee’s efforts directly support FSIS’ Strategic Goals 1: Prevent Foodborne Illness and Protect Public Health; 2: Modernize Inspection Systems, Policies, and the Use of Scientific Approaches; and 3: Achieve Operational Excellence.
Before his current post, Lavallee worked in USDA’s Office of Communications as a Communications Coordinator. In this role, he provided strategic communications and public relations support to USDA’s Office of the Secretary and USDA mission areas including the Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services and the Office of Food Safety. He was responsible for planning and implementing more than 35 comprehensive strategic communications efforts with far-reaching impacts on the American public. His communications work is highlighted in initiatives including MyPlate, Let’s Move!, Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, and Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food. He also served as a departmental and agency spokesperson and agency contact for policy and other matters directly supporting the mission and goals of the Secretary and USDA.
Before joining USDA, Lavallee was a Communications Director at Kelley Campaigns Public Relations. His chief responsibilities included developing and directing comprehensive and strategic public relations campaigns for more than 11 clients from non-profit organizations, and corporations with a focus on renewable energy, social and environmental justice, paid sick leave, and conservation.
Lavallee also worked in Congressman Paul W. Hodes office (D-N.H.) as a Congressional Liaison. In this capacity, Lavallee articulated the policy issues and vision of the Congressman at official briefings and public events, communicated complex topics and served constituents with a focus on defense, military and veteran affairs policy.