Dana Johnson Downing has been named North American Renderers Association's new vice president of international programs. She will direct NARA's international marketing program and manage all international promotion, market development and foreign market access activities. She will also oversee and implement market access programs for rendered products throughout the world and represent the U.S. rendering industry in international trade negotiations.
The vice president position also serves as staff representative to the NARA International Market Development Committee and oversees NARA's offices in Hong Kong and 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 current appointment.
"We are extremely happy to have Dana join the NARA team," says 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 and 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 USDA, 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 says. "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.