Former U.S. Ambassador Thomas Nassif is the new president and chief executive officer of the Western Growers Association.

Nassif replaces the late David Moore.

Nassif is internationally known for his diplomacy and reputation as a veteran negotiator.

“The produce industry will need to define itself in this new millennium or suffer the consequences of being defined by those with no understanding of agriculture,” said WGA chairman A.G. Kawamura, Orange County Produce, Irvine, Calif. “Tom Nassif is a superb communicator and will be able to deliver our message to any audience.”

In 1981, Ambassador Nassif first served in the Reagan administration in the Office of Protocol as the deputy and then chief of Protocol (A) for the White House. He became deputy assistant secretary of State for Near East and South Asian affairs in 1983. In 1985, President Reagan named him as his ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco.

Since returning from Morocco, Ambassador Nassif served as chairman of Gulf Interstate Engineering in Houston, Texas, an oil and gas pipeline engineering company. Also, he was president of Los Alamos Land Co., developing industrial and commercial business parks on the U.S. and Mexican border. Most recently, he was managing partner of Aequitas International Consulting, an international business and political consulting company.

WGA's Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Matt McInerney has been promoted to executive vice president. McInerney Is a 26-year veteran of the association.