The World Cocoa Foundation Board of Directors has announced the appointment of Richard Scobey as the organization's president, effective July 11.
Taking over for former WCF president Bill Guyton, who left the organization at the end of 2015, Scobey will be responsible for providing the vision and leadership guide to WCC's operations. His leadership will help ensure the fulfillment of the organization's mission to promote a sustainable cocoa sector worldwide.
Scobey's appointment comes at a critical time for WCF's mission, says chairman Barry Parkin. The cocoa sector faces challenges in achieving sustainability in the face of threats that include stagnant yields, increasing pest and disease pressure, climate change, and declining interest in young people to pursue careers in cocoa farming.
Parkin, who led the search process that identified Scobey, says he is a strategic and innovative leader who brings to the WCF extensive experience in international and community development.
"His proven ability to create new partnerships, leverage networks and achieve impact will boost WCF's mission to achieve sustainability in the cocoa sector, namely through our CocoaAction strategy," says Parkin. "I look forward to working closely with Rick to accelerate our efforts to bring measurable improvements to farmer livelihoods and cocoa-growing communities around the world.”
Scobey joins WCF from a career at the World Bank, which he first joined in 1986. He has led public-private efforts focused on natural resources management, as well as monitoring and evaluation efforts, in Africa. He served as deputy director general in the Independent Evaluation Group, was previously advisor to the Africa region v.p., and served as director for regional integration in Africa.
“I am honored to be chosen to lead WCF, which has long been at the forefront of building public-private partnerships to help achieve sustainability in the global cocoa sector. I am eager to engage soon with WCF's membership and other key partners to understand their views and benefit from their counsel," says Scobey. "With CocoaAction moving from design into implementation, WCF is at an especially exciting point in its history. I am ready to bring my own experience and energy to all of the organization’s efforts.”