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Obama Picks Ex-Iowa Gov, a Dorsey & Whitney Lawyer, as Agriculture Secretary

Posted Dec 17, 2008 7:16 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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President-elect Barack Obama has chosen another lawyer for a cabinet post.

Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who is of counsel in Dorsey & Whitney’s trial group, has been chosen as agriculture secretary. He is a strong proponent of renewable energy and alternative fuels, the New York Times reports.

Vilsack began his career as a lawyer in his father-in-law’s law office in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, a small town in the southeastern portion of the state, the Associated Press reports. He is a graduate of Albany Law School.

Vilsack entered politics in 1987 when he was appointed to replace his town’s mayor, who had been shot and killed by a disgruntled citizen, the AP story says. He went on to serve in the state Senate and then became governor in 1998, serving two terms. He joined Dorsey & Whitney in 2007 after a failed presidential run.

At Dorsey, Vilsack advises clients in the fields of energy conservation, renewable energy and agribusiness development, according to Dorsey’s website.

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