Richard T. Crowder of Alexandria, Va., has joined the College of Agriculture and Life Science's Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics as a professor of strategic management and international trade.

Crowder will teach courses in strategic management and international trade and will also organize an annual international trade workshop for agribusinesses.

Ambassador Crowder recently retired from the Office of the United States Trade Representative where he served as the chief agriculture negotiator and was responsible for directing United States agricultural trade negotiations worldwide.

“Dr. Crowder brings a tremendous knowledge of agribusiness and experience in world agricultural trade policy to Virginia Tech,” said Kevin Boyle, head of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. “He will be an excellent mentor to our students, and an asset to Virginia’s agribusinesses.”

Crowder, who is originally from Mecklenberg County, Va., received his bachelor’s degree in 1960and his master’s degree in agricultural economics in 1962 from Virginia Tech, and his Ph.D. in agricultural economics in 1966 from Oklahoma State University.

Crowder has more than 30 years experience in the food, agriculture, and international trade sectors. Before joining the Office of the United States Trade Representative, he was president of the American Seed Trade Association and served in high-level executive positions at DEKALB Genetics Corporation, Armour Swift-Eckrich, and the Pillsbury Company. He also served as Under Secretary of International Affairs and Commodity Programs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1989 to 1992, where he played leadership roles in negotiating on agricultural issues in the Uruguay Round of the GATT and managing the 1990 Farm Bill.