MEMPHIS – The National Cotton Council announced that Kevin Latner, a veteran Foreign Agriculture Service attache, will become executive director of Cotton Council International (CCI).
CCI is the NCC's export promotions arm and carries out programs in more than 50 countries globally under the COTTON USA trademark. Headquartered in Washington, DC, CCI has offices in Memphis, London, Hong Kong, Seoul and Shanghai, along with a global network of representatives.
Latner, who had worked for the U.S. Grains Council in Beijing and as an independent consultant on trade issues, holds three degrees from the University of California at Davis: a bachelor of arts in International Relations, a master's in Agricultural Economics and a Juris Doctor in International Trade Law.
Latner also served 15 years in USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service, the first five as an economist in Washington. He then spent five years as the U.S. agricultural attache in Tokyo, Japan, and five years in China as the attache in Beijing before serving as director of the U.S. Agricultural Trade Office in Chengdu.
NCC President/CEO Mark Lange said Latner's government service and his experience with Asian agricultural markets and trade will be a tremendous benefit in guiding CCI's global efforts.
"During the course of his career, Kevin has found his home in agriculture and agricultural trade, and we believe he will be a strong advocate for U.S. cotton and product exports."
Latner, who begins on December 1 in Washington, DC, replaces the retiring Allen Terhaar who Lange praised for his outstanding leadership.
"During Allen's tenure, CCI had unparalleled success in carrying out its mission of increasing exports of U.S. raw cotton, cottonseed and U.S. manufactured cotton products," Lange said. "Under Allen's leadership, CCI has consistently been one of the largest recipients of funding under the several export enhancement programs administered by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service. Allen's accomplishments are exceptional as he managed CCI through some of the most turbulent and stressful periods seen in the world cotton market."