The North American Renderers Association (NARA) has announced that Dana Johnson Downing has been named the association’s new Vice President of International Programs.
Downing will direct NARA’s international marketing program and manage all international promotion, market development, and foreign market access activities. She will oversee and implement market access programs for rendered products throughout the world and represent the U.S. rendering industry in international trade negotiations.
The position of Vice President of International Programs also serves as staff representative to the NARA International Market Development Committee and oversees NARA’s offices in Hong Kong, Mexico City, as well as several consultants worldwide.
Downing’s predecessor in this role is NARA’s President and CEO, Kent Swisher, who served as Vice President of International Programs for 19 years before his appointment as the organization’s President and CEO.
“We are extremely happy to have Dana join the NARA team,” said NARA President and CEO, Kent Swisher. “Her broad background in international markets, policy, and program management will be excellent assets to the organization.”
Prior to NARA, Downing served as Director of Partnerships & Policy for TraceGains, Inc. where she led policy initiatives and crafted alliances with technology providers, food industry trade associations, regulators, and academia. She previously held several positions in the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including running the Agricultural Trade Office at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, and was a strategy and policy advisor for the meat and soybean industries.
“I am thrilled to join NARA as an industry advocate to ensure market access and develop new markets for rendered products,” Downing said. “Having spent the majority of my career working in agriculture trade and leading sustainability campaigns, joining NARA feels like returning to my roots.”
Downing resides near Boulder, Colorado and is an avid runner, snowboarder, and outdoor enthusiast. She was raised in the Midwest where her family ranched and owned other small businesses. She earned a degree in Political Science from Iowa State University while also serving in the U.S. Army Reserve.