ST. LOUIS -- The United States Soybean Export Council board of directors has named Dr. Miguel Escobar as the USSEC interim chief executive officer.

Escobar assumes the interim CEO post immediately and will work closely with the Board on its current agenda and the long term goals of the organization. He has been with USSEC since May 2007 serving as USSEC executive director.

"The board is very confident in our decision that Miguel is the right choice to lead USSEC, and his skills and experience in international agribusiness, veterinary pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology will provide a steady hand for USSEC in day-to-day operations," said USSEC Chairman Scott Fritz. "We are very pleased to have a leader of his caliber take this post and look forward to working with him to benefit America's soybean growers and industry."

Escobar holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from National University in Colombia. In addition to business management, sales and marketing experience, he also brings a strong technical background in the crop protection, animal health and public health markets. Prior to joining USSEC, he worked for several major multinational agribusiness companies.

The U.S. Soybean Export Council promotes U.S. soy internationally, helping make soy the highest valued U.S. agricultural export at over $12 billion annually. USSEC, formed by the farmer directors of both the American Soybean Association and United Soybean Board, incorporates the expertise of the soybean industry and soybean producer organizations to broaden promotional support for overseas marketing efforts. The board of directors leads the activities of USSEC's global network of staff and consultants to help ensure the U.S. continues to export approximately 50 percent of soybean production.