Dr. Ron DeHaven Joins AVMA as New Executive Vice President

(SCHAUMBURG, Ill.) March 26, 2007—Dr. Ron DeHaven, administrator of the USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), has been named the new executive vice president at the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The AVMA Executive Board voted unanimously to approve his selection on March 23, 2007. Dr. DeHaven brings to the AVMA his national leadership skills and over 25 years of public service and public health experience.

Dr. DeHaven will succeed Dr. Bruce W. Little, the AVMA’s longest serving officer, who has held the position of Executive Vice President since 1996 and is retiring at the end of this year.

Dr. Ron DeHaven and Dr. Bruce W. Little

Dr. DeHaven has more than two decades experience with APHIS and gained national prominence in 2003 and 2004 when chronic wasting disease and bovine spongiform encephalopathy were making headlines. His leadership during both events earned him the Secretary’s Honor Award twice. The AVMA honored Dr. DeHaven’s contributions to the veterinary profession with the Meritorious Service Award in 2004.

As APHIS administrator, Dr. DeHaven oversees a $1.9-billion budget and 8,300 employees and ultimately is responsible for the protection of U.S. agriculture and natural resources from exotic pests and diseases, administering the Animal Welfare Act, and carrying out wildlife damage management activities.

“This position at the AVMA will provide me an exciting opportunity to give back to the profession,” Dr. DeHaven said. “I will be in a leadership position in the organization that represents 75,000 veterinarians at a time when the profession is at a crossroads. We are facing a future where the intersection of animal health and public health, and food supply veterinary medicine is becoming critical to meeting the needs of a global society.”

AVMA President Roger Mahr, DVM, said he is supremely confident in the selection of the Executive Board, and said that Dr. DeHaven’s entire professional career has clearly demonstrated his commitment to the AVMA mission of ‘improving animal and human health and advancing the veterinary medical profession.’ Under Dr. Mahr’s leadership, the AVMA has been working for increased cooperation between human and veterinary medicine, industry, public health and medical and veterinary schools.

“I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Dr. DeHaven’s global perspective on the continuing convergence of animal health, human health and ecosystem health,” stated Dr. Mahr. “This global perspective makes him uniquely qualified to serve as executive vice president. I am confident that Dr. DeHaven possesses the skills and commitment to facilitate the needed collaboration, cooperation and communication between the various health sciences professions, colleges, government agencies and industries that will enable our entire profession to meet our responsibilities to society.”

Dr. James Cook, chairman of the AVMA Executive Board, said the Executive Vice President Search Committee, chaired by Dr. Larry Kornegay, outdid themselves by providing an outstanding candidate who was approved unanimously by the AVMA Executive Board.

“Dr. Ron DeHaven’s familiarity with all dimensions of the veterinary profession brings a broad base of understanding of the issues that affect our profession,” Dr. Cook said. “The Executive Board looks forward to working with Dr. DeHaven.”

Dr. Larry M. Kornegay, chairman of the AVMA search committee, explained that the AVMA started the selection process by surveying members, AVMA leaders, industry representatives and leaders from veterinary schools to create a profile of the attributes that an ideal candidate should posses. Candidates went through a rigorous and thorough interview process, from which Dr. DeHaven was the clear choice.

“The search committee was fortunate to have so many excellent candidates, but Dr. DeHaven just stood out, and he was a clear, unanimous choice,” stated Dr. Kornegay.

Dr. Kornegay explained that Dr. DeHaven is blessed with both a scientific mind and the ability to communicate well with other veterinarians and public health professionals, as well as the media and the general public. These tools will be tremendous assets when Dr. DeHaven assumes the roll of executive vice president.

Dr. Little’s accomplishments have been numerous, including a growth in membership of more than 30 percent and an increase in AVMA assets by more than double from $19 million in 1996 to $41.6 million today, said Dr. Kornegay. His legacy will provide both an inspiration and model for Dr. DeHaven.

Dr. DeHaven obtained his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Purdue University in 1975 and a master’s degree in business administration from Millsaps College is 1989. Prior to starting work at APHIS, Dr. DeHaven spent four years in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps.

He started his career at APHIS in 1979 as a veterinary medical officer, and subsequently served as a regional director, veterinary staff officer, deputy administrator, and acting associate administrator until he was appointed administrator in April of 2004.

Dr. DeHaven lives with his wife, Nancy, in Crofton, Md., and he has a grown daughter and son, and one grandson.

The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. More than 75,000 member veterinarians are engaged in a wide variety of professional activities. AVMA members are dedicated to advancing the science and art of veterinary medicine including its relationship to public health and agriculture. Visit the AVMA Web site at www.avma.org to learn more about veterinary medicine and animal care and to access up-to-date information on the association’s issues, policies and activities.


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