Kai Hughes now serving as Executive Director
Mr. Hughes was recommended to the Standing Committee of ICAC by a Task Force composed of diplomats in Washington representing nine members of ICAC. ICAC does not hire based on geographic or national quotas; rather all members of the Secretariat are chosen individually based exclusively on merit.
Mr. Hughes has been the Managing Director/CEO of the International Cotton Association (ICA), headquartered in Liverpool, UK, for the last 9 years. He has over 20 years of senior management experience in challenging environments, ranging from the Ministry of Defence, higher education, and not-for-profit organisations. As Managing Director of the ICA, Mr. Hughes has been acting globally at diplomatic and ministerial levels to promote contract sanctity and to lobby governments on trade issues affecting cotton as well as liaising with cotton associations.
Mr. Hughes has an extensive knowledge of the world cotton industry and solid management experience. He has a Master's degree in Business Administration (MBA) and is fully conversant with the governance and administrative requirements for the running of complex organisations.
On his first day in office, Mr. Hughes noted that ICAC serves a unique role within the world cotton industry, and that role can and should evolve and grow in response to current challenges creating a bigger, more effective ICAC that brings added value to the whole cotton and textile chain. He observed that ICAC cannot do this alone. It must seek out strategic partners in order to combine resources and efforts in order to achieve a greater good, and ICAC is ideally positioned to take that leadership role within the industry.
During his tenure as Managing Director of the International Cotton Association, Mr. Hughes had the privilege of learning many lessons from its highly knowledgeable officers and directors, including the importance of partnership working, having a good communications strategy involving the use of social media and most importantly, being relevant by providing added value to its membership base. Mr. Hughes recognises that he also needs to learn much, and he welcomes the opportunity to talk to as many people as possible, to hear their ideas and views so as to have an informed debate as to how ICAC can become a more powerful and effective body in the cotton world.
Mr. Hughes thanked the Standing Committee of ICAC for the honour of serving as Executive Director. He very much looks forward to leading the outstanding Secretariat and working with committed and highly capable government officials on the Standing Committee and in Coordinating Agencies, along with representatives of the private sector, to fulfil the mission of ICAC to foster a healthy cotton sector.