Vicki J. Hicks is of counsel with Foley and a member of the firm's Life Sciences and Food Industry Teams in addition to the Government & Public Affairs and International Practices. She has extensive experience working in the legislative and executive branches in key positions, including her role as a senior Democratic Senate staffer, and as an appointee at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) during the Clinton Administration. As an agricultural lawyer and lobbyist, Ms. Hicks has been instrumental in representing clients' goals through the legislative process as well as before the USDA. Her areas of focus include the food, drug and agriculture policy areas, including agricultural trade, farm subsidy and commodity programs, commodity procurement, conservation programs, domestic and foreign food assistance programs, alternative and bio-based energy, food safety, nutrition and rural development programs. Having served in both the legislative and executive branches, Ms. Hicks offers a unique combination of experience and knowledge in agricultural programs. In addition to representing her clients' positions on the Hill and at USDA, she effectively uses her experience to assist clients with business development activities at USDA. Prior to joining Foley & Lardner, Ms. Hicks was engaged in a government relations practice centered on agricultural and technology interests. Her clients ranged from food processors, to small and large technology companies, to large pharmaceutical companies. She also represented land grant universities before the USDA and the Appropriations Committees. During the Clinton Administration, Ms. Hicks served as a political appointee in the role of the Farm Service Agency's Deputy Administrator for Commodity Operations (DACO), where she directed a staff of 400 and managed a multibillion-dollar operation. In this position, Ms. Hicks was responsible for the procurement of all commodities for foreign food assistance programs provided by the U.S. government, as well as procurement of grain, dairy and oilseed products for the domestic food assistance programs. She also was responsible for administration of the dairy price support program, the Step 2 cotton program, and the United States Warehouse Act. Earlier in her career, Ms. Hicks covered agriculture and international trade issues for Senator Quentin N. Burdick, a Democrat from North Dakota. Senator Burdick chaired the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and served as chairman of the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee. While working for Senator Burdick, her portfolio included all issues before the Senate Committee on Agriculture. She also advised the Senator on agricultural policy issues that arose during the appropriations process, as well as before the Environment Committee. Ms. Hicks is a member of the District of Columbia Bar. She has a B.S. from Phillips University, where she was a Presidential Scholar, and a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma.