Sette Departs for ICO, Search for New Executive Director Underway

Date Posted: 28 Apr, 2017
For Release April 28
Mr. José Sette will relinquish the responsibilities of Executive Director and leave the Secretariat of the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) at the end of April to take up his new position as Executive Director of the International Coffee Organization (ICO) in London. Mr. Sette will be the first person in history to serve as the executive head of two unrelated International Commodity Bodies (ICBs).
Mr. Sette thanked the Secretariat, Coordinating Agencies and the Standing Committee for their support and friendship during his three-year tenure as Executive Director of ICAC. He noted the crucial role played by the cotton industry in poverty alleviation, food security and environmental protection, and he noted proudly that the ICAC Secretariat is one of the most productive intergovernmental organizations in terms of output per dollar anywhere in the world.
Mr. Sette noted that all commodity industries and their respective ICBs face similar strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and he looked forward to working with the executive heads of other commodity bodies, and in particular with ICAC, to strengthen inter-commodity cooperation in the years ahead.
Mr. Sette’s successor as Executive Director of ICAC has yet to be named, but the Standing Committee is already reviewing applications. It is expected that a successor to Mr. Sette will be chosen by the end of June, and it is hoped that the new Executive Director can arrive in Washington, DC no later than the end of August and will be able to assume his/her duties no later than the end of September.
During the interval between Mr. Sette’s departure and the arrival and orientation of his successor, Dr. Terry Townsend will serve as Executive Director ad interim. Dr. Townsend previously served as Executive Director of the ICAC for 15 years ending in 2013. His priorities as Executive Director ad interim will be to ensure that the Standing Committee receives all necessary support for an efficient and effective process in hiring a new executive director, to continue preparations for a productive 76th Plenary Meeting in Tashkent during October, and to facilitate growth in membership in the ICAC, particularly the accession of the European Union.
Dr. Townsend noted that Mr. Sette has done an excellent job in improving management structures and administrative processes at ICAC, that the Secretariat is highly productive, that preparations for the plenary meeting in Tashkent are well advanced, and that most member governments are current, or nearly current, in the payment of assessments. He pledged to work with industry representatives and member governments to ensure a seamless transition to a new executive director while maintaining smooth and continuous functioning of the Secretariat.
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