National Pork Producers Council announces new hires, staff promotions

Curliss joins organization as vice president of strategic engagement; Zieba, Adams promoted.

April 18, 2024

3 Min Read

The National Pork Producers Council is pleased to announce several staff updates to enhance the organization’s advocacy efforts.

Andy Curliss will join the organization as vice president of strategic engagement, effective April 22. In this new role, Curliss will lead a range of efforts focused on expanding the reach and influence of the U.S. pork industry.

“As our industry evolves due to changing policies and economic challenges, we are excited to welcome Andy back to Team Pork,” said Bryan Humphreys, NPPC CEO. “With his in-depth approach and strategic insight, we are confident in his ability to help advance the industry.”

Curliss, a pork industry veteran, brings a wealth of agriculture business experience to this new role. He previously held senior-level positions at the North Carolina Pork Council and Smithfield Foods. Most recently, he was director of external affairs at the SAS Institute, where he provided executive-level counsel across a range of subjects, including agriculture and life sciences. Curliss was also a longtime investigative reporter and state government editor at the Raleigh News & Observer, focusing on government affairs.

Curliss holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Toledo and a master’s in business administration from East Carolina University. He will be based in Washington, D.C.

Having demonstrated exceptional leadership skills as interim vice president of domestic policy, Maria C. Zieba has been officially appointed vice president of government affairs. In this new role, Zieba will oversee NPPC’s international affairs and domestic policy teams, leveraging her extensive expertise to advance the organization's goals here and abroad.

“Maria’s promotion is well deserved and reflects her leadership and expertise over many years at NPPC and in the pork industry,” said Humphreys.

Prior to joining NPPC in 2015, Zieba was a trade policy manager for the National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council, where she worked on various non-technical trade issues affecting the dairy industry. Prior to those roles, she worked at the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, managing capacity-building projects to increase U.S. agricultural exports to emerging markets.

Chase Adams has been promoted from senior director to assistant vice president of domestic policy. In this role, Adams will lead NPPC's congressional advocacy and engagement, ensuring that the pork industry's interests are effectively represented and championed on Capitol Hill.

“With Chase’s proven ability to navigate the complex political landscape in Washington, I am confident that in this elevated role he will continue to be an invaluable asset to drive our advocacy initiatives and build strong relationships on Capitol Hill,” said Humphreys.

Before joining NPPC in 2022, Adams was senior policy and information director for the American Sheep Industry Association. From October 2012 to November 2016, he was director of communications for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. He began his career in agriculture as a farm director for the radio station KBHB in Sturgis, South Dakota. He also practiced law for several years. Adams serves on the board of directors for the Western Resources Legal Center — a non-profit educational organization that provides law students with quality instruction to develop their legal skills in natural resources and environmental laws — and formerly served on the USDA Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Animals and Animal Products. He also is an alumnus of the South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership program.

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