Oct 12, 2022World Potato Congress welcomes new executive director
World Potato Congress President John Griffin would like to extend a congratulations and warm welcome to our new incoming executive director, Ellen Kouwenberg, who will be replacing outgoing General Manager Brian Douglas.
Born and raised in a family of nine children, Kouwenberg’s family operated a potato and beef operation in Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada. She received her BBA through University of Prince Edward Island and studied international business at the University of Copenhagen, travelling extensively throughout Europe and Russia and exploring various business models as part of those studies.
Upon her return, Kouwenberg worked with the PEI Department of Agriculture in various capacities, including potato services, farm business management, and the international programs division. A secondment led her back to the private sector where she completed a feasibility study into and the establishment of the PEI Potato Quality Institute (PQI), a nationally accredited testing laboratory which she then managed and expanded.
After her departure from PQI, Kouwenberg has continued to work in the global potato network, collaborating on projects with USA university potato variety research programs, expanding international technical and regulatory trade, and farm biosecurity. She brings experience to the World Potato Congress through her global connections, facilitating incoming and outgoing agricultural missions and trade shows involving countries in North Africa, Central and South America, Philippines, USA, and the Middle East. Kouwenberg resides with her husband and their three children on a 285-cow milking herd dairy farm. She has over 25 years as a 4-H youth leader, sitting on various boards and committees in this and other organizations within her community, and as such, has been recognized with a Women In Agriculture award for her on-going contributions.