News Releases, Media Advisories

For Immediate Release:                                  Contact:  Ron Harris
July 15, 1998                                                     Sharon Snyder
                                                                  Ian Stirton
                                                                  Kelly Huff




WASHINGTON -- John Surina, Staff Director of the Federal Election Commission since 1983, has accepted a newly created position at the Department of Agriculture to oversee the ethics program there.

In announcing his departure, Surina said, "It took a tremendous opportunity at Agriculture to lure me away from the FEC. Few government managers experience the pleasure of working with a staff which is so uniformly bright, motivated and well-focused as it is at the Federal Election Commission."

At the Department of Agriculture, Surina will be director of a new office charged with assuring that the staff in all component agencies is trained in the standards of conduct, that all personal financial disclosure reports are filed and reviewed on a timely basis, and that any needed policies tailored for specific mission areas are developed and promulgated.

"The principal attraction of the job at Agriculture," Surina said, "is the new and exciting professional challenge I will face. We aim to create the means of reaching some 95,000 employees, dispersed in dozens of component agencies and stationed all over the world, with information about the ethics rules and their individual reporting obligations under the law.

"I am pleased to keep my career within the governmental ethics realm," Surina said, "and many of the functional and technical approaches we use in regulating campaign finance transfer nicely to a large agency ethics program.

"I want to thank the FEC Commissioners for giving me the latitude of management action that I have been afforded," Surina noted, adding, "Whomever takes my place here at the FEC will soon discover a truly unique operating environment, a controversial but engaging mission, and an extraordinarily competent and non-partisan staff. The staff at the FEC made me look good for 15 years."

Surina will remain with the FEC through Friday, July 31, reporting to the Department of Agriculture on Monday, August 3.


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