Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) announced Monday that Matt Conrad will become his first deputy chief of staff.

Conrad had been serving deputy secretary of agriculture and forestry, where he helped run two state agencies with nearly 800 employees with regional offices across the Commonwealth.

He will be assigned duties by Chief of Staff Martin Kent, McDonnell spokesman Jeff Caldwell said.

“Matt Conrad has been a valued asset to this administration, serving with excellence in the agriculture and forestry secretariat and leading many efforts to promote Virginia’s agriculture and forestry industries around the country and around the world,’’ McDonnell said in a statement. “In his new role, he will assist with the management of state government and provide valued counsel to me and my cabinet.”

Conrad worked in the Attorney General’s Office, as a special assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and at the Richmond-based Alliance Group,where he was director of the Virginia Wine Council.

Travis Hill, an attorney with the Richmond-based law firm Williams Mullen, will take Conrad’s place as deputy secretary of agriculture and forestry.