ALEXANDRIA, VA. — The North American Renderers Association (NARA) has named Dana Johnson Downing as its new vice president of international programs. Downing will lead NARA’s international marketing programs and direct international promotion, market development and foreign market activities.

In her new role, Downing will also manage market access programs for rendered products worldwide, represent the United States rendering industry in world trade negotiations, and will direct NARA’s offices in Hong Kong and Mexico City.

Downing succeeds Kent Swisher, NARA’s current president and chief executive officer, who served as vice president of international programs for 19 years. Swisher was appointed president and chief executive officer of NARA in October 2021.

“We are extremely happy to have Dana join the NARA team,” Swisher said. “Her broad background in international markets, policy, and program management will be excellent assets to the organization.”

Before joining NARA, Downing worked for TraceGrains, Inc. as director of partnerships and policy, in which she managed policy initiatives and created alliances with technology providers, food industry trade associations, regulators and academia. She also held positions in the United States Congress and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“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.”

Read more about personnel changes throughout the industry.