USA Rice Federation has announced the selection of Betsy Ward as the organization's new president and CEO effective May 1.

“We look forward to the excellent management skills Betsy will bring back to the federation after her two-year absence,” said Al Montna, chairman.

“The USA Rice board of directors also recognizes the superior leadership and work of Bob Cummings in his handling of genetically engineered rice issues, and has elevated his position to that of senior vice president,” Montna said.

Ward served for two years as the USA Rice vice president for domestic and international promotion before becoming executive director of the Hardwood Federation in Washington in May 2005.

“I am very excited about returning to the rice industry and look forward to working closely with all the members of the USA Rice Federation on the many challenges and opportunities we face,” said Ward, who from 1995 to 2003 ran the wood international program of the American Forest & Paper Association.