WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — In an effort to identify and collect valuable information and intelligence from its international offices, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) announced on Aug. 19 that it has hired Keith Williams as the new director of strategic relations. In this role, Williams will help provide accurate and timely information to the council’s membership and international customers of U.S. corn, barley, sorghum and their products.

Williams began his career as a reporter, broadcaster and assignment editor in Texas where he worked for nearly 15 years. In 1989, he was press secretary to Congressman Larry Combest of Texas and then communications director of the House Agriculture Committee when the congressman became chairman.

In 2003, he moved to the Senate Ag Committee as communications director and press secretary to Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi. In 2006, he was press secretary for Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns and later for Secretary Ed Schafer when Johanns was elected to the Senate.

"Keith brings extensive experience in communications, agriculture and public policy," said Thomas C. Dorr, USGC president and chief executive officer. "We’re excited to have him onboard."