U.S. Australia both appoint leaders for Iraq ag reconstruction

by Emily Buckley
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WASHINGTON D.C., U.S. — Dan Amstutz has been appointed to lead the U.S. government’s agriculture reconstruction efforts in Iraq. Amstutz will serve as senior ministry advisor for agriculture in the rebuilding effort and will coordinate the U.S. government activities in the sector.

Amstutz will join other U.S. representatives in the region immediately and will coordinate activities with coalition partners.

Amstutz’s has worked in both the private sector and government, and he has extensive experience with managing organizations, commodity merchandising and international trading. He has held positions with Cargill; Goldman, Sachs & Company; the International Wheat Council and North American Export Grain Association. He served as USDA Under Secretary for International Affairs and Commodity Programs from 1983 to 1987 and then as Ambassador and chief negotiator for agriculture during the Uruguay Round General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) talks in 1987 to 1989.

Australian officials have named Trevor Flugge to lead its team of Australian agricultural and food security advisers to work with senior Iraqi agriculture officials on reconstruction plans for Iraq’s agriculture sector.

Flugge will be jointly responsible for providing high-level advice on agriculture reforms and food security issues with Amstutz.

Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer noted that Australia was "well-placed" to assist in the revitalization of Iraq’s agricultural sector, particularly in areas such as dry land agriculture, grain distribution, irrigation and combating salinity problems.

Flugge, a farmer from Western Australia, was formerly a director and chairman of the AWB and AWB Ltd. and has strong experience in the Middle East. He is currently a director of the Western Australian public company Wesfarmers and of Australian Wool Services. He is also currently chair of the CSIRO’s Agribusiness Advisory Council and other industry research and advisory bodies.