WASHINGTON — Gary M. Rodkin, chief executive officer of ConAgra Foods, Inc., has been elected chairman of the board of the Grocery Manufacturers of America, effective Feb. 16. He was elected to a two-year term.

As G.M.A. chairman, Mr. Rodkin will succeed Richard G. Wolford, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Del Monte Foods Co.

“G.M.A. is very fortunate to have a leader of Gary’s experience, commitment and passion in this critical leadership role,” said Pamela G. Bailey, G.M.A. president and c.e.o. “I look forward to working with him as we seek to fulfill G.M.A.’s mission to support our member companies as they sustain and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe.”

Mr. Rodkin previously served as vice-chairman of G.M.A. and as chairman of its government affairs council.
He joined ConAgra Foods in October 2005. During his tenure, he has worked to revamp the company organizationally from what essentially was a holding company for dozens of leading consumer brands into a unified operating company, the G.M.A. said.

Before leading ConAgra, Mr. Rodkin was chairman and c.e.o. of PepsiCo Beverages and Foods North America, whose brands include Pepsi, Gatorade, Tropicana and Quaker Foods. From 1979-1995, he held marketing and general management positions of increasing responsibility at General Mills, Inc.

“It is an honor to serve G.M.A. and its member companies as chairman,” Mr. Rodkin said. “Our core mission is to provide responsible public policy solutions while our members deliver the safest, most convenient and affordable products to our consumers. I look forward to working with the board, the staff and our trading partners to meet that objective.”

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate from Rutgers University, Mr. Rodkin holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. His work in driving simplicity was featured in the December 2007 Harvard Business Review.

He also serves on the board of directors of Avon Products and Boys Town, and he is the chairman of the 2010-11 United Way of the Midlands annual campaign.

G.M.A. also announced the election of five new members of the board of directors:

o J.S. Brown III, president and c.e.o., Bruce Foods Corp. (ex-officio)
o John Bryant, president and c.e.o., Kellogg Co.
o Robert Gamgort, chief executive officer, Pinnacle Foods Group, L.L.C.
o Larry Pope, president and c.e.o., Smithfield Foods, Inc.
o David Yanda, president and c.e.o., Lakeside Foods, Inc.