Dawn Riley


Common Wealth Ag Strategies

Dawn Riley has over 20 years of experience working in the government and public service arena at the local, state and federal levels specifically focused on agriculture. She regularly collaborates with Point A Consulting on projects related to emerging trends in agricultural policy, agricultural development strategies and best practices in farming and agribusiness.

In 2005 Ms. Riley founded her own government relations firm, Dawn Riley Consulting. Her clients have included agricultural organizations with a statewide focus (Kentucky Agricultural Council); regional-oriented (Southeastern Livestock Network) and national in scope (Farmers Market Coalition). She also represents private companies of various types (Monty’s Plant Food Company) and non-profit organizations (Alliance for Water Efficiency) whose products or programs interface with the agricultural and environmental arenas.

From 2001 through 2004, Ms. Riley worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Her first responsibility was as Acting Deputy Undersecretary for the Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services mission area, as well as the Acting Deputy Undersecretary for the Research, Education and Economics mission area.

From 2002 thru 2003, Ms. Riley worked as the Director of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, for the Research, Education and Economics mission area of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In 2004, Ms. Riley served in the public arena as Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary, continuing with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Serving as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary, Riley served as an advisor in every aspect of Departmental operations including but not limited to homeland security, budget, hiring, congressional relations, foreign assistance, food and nutrition issues, research and education, food safety, natural resources and environment, farm programs, and inspection of animals and plants.

Since returning to Kentucky in 2005, Dawn has been very involved in providing leadership to the local food arena, and was a founding member of Louisville’s Food Policy Committee. Ms. Riley continues to maintain her networks across the country and internationally, as an invited participant in many national agricultural policy forums such as the US Water Alliance, AGREE and the Farm Foundation to name a few.

Ms. Riley grew up on a farm in central Kentucky, where she is still active in managing a family-owned farm supply business. She is a graduate of Centre College.