The National Restaurant Association has named Katie Laning Niebaum as the new director of advocacy communications. In this position, she will lead messaging efforts to promote a policy environment that will help restaurant growth.

Prior to joining the NRA, Niebaum served as U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln's (D-Ark.) top press aide, a role she held since 2006. Niebaum also served as communications director for Lincoln's campaign in 2010.

Niebaum is a native of Little Rock, Ark., and received her bachelor's degree in government from the University of Virginia.

"Katie's communications experience from both a Capitol Hill and political campaign perspective makes her a great addition to our communications team," said Scott DeFife, executive vice president of Policy and Government Affairs for the National Restaurant Association.

Niebaum joins the NRA as it continues to participate in current public policy debates such as debit-card swipe fee reform, health care, restaurant depreciation and small businesses' access to credit.

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