National Chicken Council
1152 Fifteenth Street, NW, Suite 430
Washington, D.C. 20005-2622
Phone: (202) 296-2622
Michael J. Brown, President
Mike Brown was named president of the National Chicken Council in February, 2011. Previous to his appointment as NCC president, Brown served as senior vice president of legislative affairs at the American Meat Institute in Washington, D.C., where he represented the association before Congress and the administration on federal governmental matters. He also served as the treasurer of AMI’s political action committee.Brown joined AMI in May 1995, after serving eight years as a legislative assistant for former Sen. John Warner (R-VA), focusing on agriculture, food safety, labor, immigration, environment, and international trade issues. Brown also previously worked as a legal publication specialist for the Federal Register, where he was responsible for providing information to Congress, federal agencies, trade associations and others on federal regulations and office programs and publications.
Brown, a native of New York, earned his Bachelor of Science in political science and history from the State University of New York, Brockport.
Ashley Peterson, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs
As senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs, Dr. Peterson’s responsibilities at the National Chicken Council include food safety, poultry inspection and animal welfare issues, as well as keeping her finger on the pulse of initiatives within the Washington, D.C. regulatory agencies. Immediately prior to joining the council, Peterson served as vice president of government relations for the United Egg Producers where she worked with Congress and the regulatory agencies on a variety of issues including organic egg production and food safety. She has also served both as the director of legislative affairs and director of regulatory affairs at the American Meat Institute, where her responsibilities included environmental and sustainability issues, animal welfare and lobbying Congress.
A native of Kentucky, Peterson came to Washington, D.C., as a Congressional Science Fellow in the U.S. House of Representatives, working on agriculture, energy and environment issues. She earned her Ph.D. in Animal Science from the University of Maryland, her Master of Science in Animal Science from Michigan State University and her Bachelor of Science from the University of Kentucky.
Tom Super, Senior Vice President of Communications
Super brings more than 20 years of combined experience in strategic communications, public policy, politics and meat and poultry issues management to NCC’s senior management team. He is responsible for day-to-day media relations, media outreach, social media management and strategic communications planning to supplement the National Chicken Council’s legislative, regulatory and public affairs efforts.
Prior to his joining the National Chicken Council in 2011, Super spent three and a half years at the American Meat Institute, most recently as vice president of public affairs. He previously spent six years at Greener and Hook LLC, a Washington-based strategic communications consulting firm where his focus was on planning and executing communications strategies and delivering strategic communications and media relations counsel to corporations, trade associations, ad-hoc organizations, non-profits and political candidates at the local, state and federal levels. Super began his career in Washington, D.C. on Capitol Hill as a press assistant and legislative correspondent for U.S. Senator John W. Warner (R-Va.).
A graduate of Washington & Lee University, in Lexington, Va., Super earned his bachelor of arts degree in public policy.
Margaret A. Ernst, Senior Director of Meetings & Member Services
Ernst manages the National Chicken Council’s meetings and special events planning, program development, and operations, as well as overseeing member relations and services, including writing for and editing the National Chicken Council’s weekly on-line newsletter, the Washington Report. Prior to joining the council, she worked for the governmental affairs office of American Cyanamid, where she was assistant director for environmental and EPA issues and corporate liaison. Before that, she was communications manager and publications editor for the American Society for Microbiology. Ernst graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in biology.
Harrison T. Kircher, Vice President of Government Affairs
Kircher’s primary focus is advancing NCC’s lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill, educating members of Congress and their staffs on a range of policy issues including agriculture, immigration, labor, energy and trade. Prior to joining NCC, Kircher worked in advertising on the IBM account at Ogilvy & Mather in New York, and aided in Robert Hurt’s 2010 congressional campaign victory. He is a 2009 graduate of the University of Virginia.
David Elrod, Manager of Government Affairs
Elrod is a 2017 graduate of The King’s College in New York City with a Bachelor of Arts in Media, Culture & the Arts with a concentration in creative writing. Prior to joining NCC as Government Affairs Associate, he was a sports reporter for the Raleigh News & Observer and film critic’s assistant at Vox Media. He assists with advancing NCC’s lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill, educating members of Congress under an umbrella of policy issues.
Debra Newman, Accounts Receivables and Meetings Coordinator
Newman has served in a number of positions since joining the National Chicken Council in 1982, when the organization was previously named the National Broiler Council. She currently serves as Accounts Receivables and Meetings Coordinator, coordinating the day-to-day activities of the council’s marketing department. Newman is a native of South Carolina and a graduate of the Washington School for Secretaries in Washington, DC. She is the assistant to the senior director of membership.
Phouth Gonzalez, Assistant to the President and Staff Accountant
Gonzalez joined the National Chicken Council in October of 1997. She is the assistant to the president, the staff accountant for the organization and assumes some office management duties. She earned her associates degree in Information Systems and continues her education in the accounting aspect of her current position.