Feb 27 2017

Today, the White House announced that Ray Starling, Chief of Staff for Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), will be leaving the Senator’s office to serve as Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture, Trade, and Food Assistance.
“We will greatly miss Ray’s tremendous leadership, his warm sense of humor, and his genuine passion for working on behalf of all North Carolinians, but the silver lining is that our state’s loss is America’s gain,” said Senator Thom Tillis. “There is simply no one better qualified than Ray to advise the President on agriculture and trade policy. Ray has been a lifelong champion for North Carolina’s agricultural industry, and he will now play a major role in fulfilling the administration’s plans to support our nation’s farmers and ranchers and revitalize rural America. This is an incredible honor for Ray that is more than well deserved, and it’s also a testament to how respected North Carolina's agricultural community is across the nation. I wish Ray and his family all the best in this new and exciting chapter, and I look forward to working closely with him to advocate for our state’s agricultural and rural communities.”
“I’m glad we are going to have a North Carolinian working on agriculture policy in the White House,” said Senator Richard Burr. “Ray Starling has a deep understanding of the agriculture industry and I know he will work to promote policies that will help our nation’s economy thrive.”
Today, Senator Tillis also announced that his State Director Jordan Shaw will serve as his interim Chief of Staff.
Starling, who most recently served as Senator Tillis’ Chief of Staff, has also served as Senator Tillis’ Chief Counsel, and was then-Speaker Tillis’ General Counsel and Agriculture Advisor in the N.C. General Assembly.  He has also been the General Counsel for the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, has private practice experience from several years at Hunton & Williams, served as a law clerk on the N.C. Supreme Court, and has taught numerous agricultural and food law university courses.  After growing up on a Century Family Farm in Autryville, North Carolina, Starling received a B.S. in Agricultural Education from N.C. State University and a J.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill.