CLEVELAND, June 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLF) (Paris: CLF) announced today that Dana Byrne, vice president – government and public affairs, will retire from the Company effective July 1, 2013. The Company said Mr. Byrne will assume a one-year consultancy role with Cliffs after his retirement. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101104/CLIFFSLOGO ) "Dana served Cliffs for 34 years and has provided exceptional leadership to the Company throughout his career with much of that time devoted to leading the government affairs, public affairs and land functions as well as overseeing the Cliffs Foundation," P. Kelly Tompkins, Executive Vice President - Legal, Government Affairs and Sustainability & President, Cliffs China. "We are sincerely grateful for Dana and his ability to build and lead a very capable team to support the Company's growth and manage an ever evolving array of industry challenges. We are grateful for continued access to Dana's wealth of knowledge and contacts as he transitions into a consultancy role for the Company." Mr. Byrne began his career at Cliffs in the tax function in 1979. It was his intimate knowledge of the Company's operations and its communities that led him to pursue a career in the public and government relations area in 1987. In 2004, Mr. Byrne was named to his current position where he has led all public affairs and government relations for the Company. Over the past three years, Mr. Byrne has been extensively involved with the Company's Chromite Project in the Ring of Fire located in northern Ontario. His work with the First Nations and familiarity with all aspects of the government's interests in this project has and continues to be invaluable to Cliffs. Mr. Byrne has also played a critical role in the province of Quebec both with respect to government and local community matters associated with the Company's Eastern Canadian iron operations, which include Bloom Lake mine, the Port of Sept-Isles and Wabush operations. Mr. Byrne earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting from St. Joseph College. He has served as vice chairman of the National Mining Association government affairs committee, a board member of the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota, and a member of the American Iron and Steel Association's council of U.S. producers. The Company further announced that Raga Elim, formerly director – global government relations, will succeed Mr. Byrne, as vice president – global corporate and government affairs. Raga will also assume responsibility for the company's global communications and public affairs functions. In 2011, Mr. Elim joined the Company as the director of global government relations after serving as the head of Rio Tinto's Washington, DC government affairs office. Mr. Elim has held numerous positions at the state level in Alaska and Washington and worked at the federal level in Washington, DC. In addition, Mr. Elim has also served as a speechwriter at the last four Presidential Election Conventions for one of the major political parties. "Raga has an extensive mining industry background and brings a wealth of legislative, administrative, regulatory and political experience to the role," stated Mr. Tompkins. "He brings to this role an effective balance of solid analytical skills to deal with the complex issues facing the Company and strong people skills to deal with an ever diverse range of stakeholders."