The National Mango Board has named a new executive director.

Manuel Michel, who worked most recently as a marketing order specialist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will succeed William Watson on Jan. 1, according to a news release from the Orlando, Fla.-based board.

Before taking the helm, Michel will work with Watson at the board.

In his job at the USDA’s Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Michel provided regulatory oversight to several federal government commodity programs.

Before working for the USDA, Michel managed quality assurance and food safety programs for L&J Farms and Jackpot in California’s Salinas Valley.

He also has worked as a lawyer, a field inspector, a food safety auditor for Davis Fresh Technologies and an analyst for the Idaho State Department of Agriculture.

Michel has bachelor’s degrees in agricultural business management and international studies in agriculture from Oregon State University and a law degree from Texas Tech University.

In the news release, Bill Vogel, the board’s chairman, praised Watson’s contributions and looked forward to Michel’s.

“I feel confident that Manuel Michel will take this role to the next level and make an important and meaningful impact as he guides the board through the new phases of growth that the mango industry will face in coming years.”

Watson, the only executive director in the board’s history, announced his plans to step down in April.