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Name: Lancaster, Arlen
Current Position: Former Chief

Arlen Lancaster, the National Resource Conservation Service’s thirteenth, and first Asian American, chief was appointed August 23, 2006, and served until the end of the administration of George W. Bush. A Utah Native and graduate of the University of Utah (B.A in political science) in Salt Lake City, Lancaster worked for Charles Evans & Associates, a political consulting company in Salt Lake City before moving the East Coast. He has worked for the U.S. Congress in a variety of positions—including senior policy advisor and legislative correspondent for Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), in which position he was responsible for legislation dealing with natural resources, Native Americans, tourism and telecommunications. He was also a staff director for the Senate Subcommittee on Forestry, Conservation and Rural Revitalization, and staff member for Senator Robert Bennett. He has worked on the election campaigns of several Republicans, including Bennett, Senator Orin Hatch and Utah Governor Mike Leavitt (R). Before joining the NRCS he served as USDA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations, and played a key role in crafting the conservation title of the 2002 farm bill.

Lancaster made the news in 2003 when he ran—or didn’t—for his Senate team, that of Sen. Crapo, in a 10-mile race in Washington D.C. Lancaster’s time, the best for any of the 13 Senate teams, raised suspicions. Sure enough, it turned out that the Crapo team had replaced Lancaster with a new, young staffer, and Lancaster was officially disqualified.
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