For many long-time cotton industry veterans, it will be a strange experience to see the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) represented by anyone other than current executive director Terry Townsend. He’s been the face of the association for 15 years, and he has been a part of ICAC since he came on board as a statistician in 1987.
But all good things must come to an end. While it won’t be easy to fill Townsend’s shoes, the man who has been chosen to succeed him as executive director has a very impressive set of credentials himself. José Sette of Brazil, who will begin his duties on January 1, 2014, was chosen after a rigorous, merit-based search that included interviews with a selection committee composed of diplomats from 21 countries.
Highlights of Sette’s qualifications, training and experience include:
- Serving as executive director ad interim of the International Coffee Organization (ICO) – a sister organization to the ICAC – from November 2010 to November 2011. He was also ICO’s head of operations from November 2007 to the end of December 2012.
- Working as a consultant to trade associations, specializing in international trade matters, and he has worked with state trade associations in Brazil and with coffee exporters.
- Experience gained from working with the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC.
- A Masters degree in business administration and an undergraduate degree in finance from American University in Washington, DC.
- The ability to speak English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.
Sette will join the Secretariat in Cartagena, Colombia during ICAC’s 72nd Plenary Meeting in September and will move to Washington, DC in November 2013. He and Townsend will spend the last six weeks of the year working together to ensure there is a smooth transition on January 1, 2014.