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Friday, 17 February, 2012

Melcher Leadership Award Goes to Dean of OSU College of Veterinary Medicine

February 17, 2012

Washington, D.C.
–The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) announced today that it has awarded the 2012 AAVMC Senator John Melcher, DVM Leadership in Public Policy Award to Dr. Lonnie King, dean of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. The award will be presented March 10 at the AAVMC’s Annual Conference in Alexandria, Va.

"Dr. King is an expert in One Health and the emergence of new diseases, who has successfully advocated for important legislation and demonstrated leadership throughout his career in government and academia,” said Dr. Bennie Osburn, interim executive director of the AAVMC. “The impact of his contributions as an effective leader, strategic planner, visionary, and communicator are extraordinary and far-reaching.”

In addition to leading his college, King is a professor in the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and holds the Ruth Stanton Endowed Chair in Veterinary Medicine. He received his bachelor’s degree and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from Ohio State, a master’s degree in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota, and a master’s degree in Public Administration from American University. 

Dr. King’s distinguished career includes numerous leadership positions in academia and government. He has met and interacted with numerous congressmen, state legislators, executive branch leaders, and staffers on issues of animal and public health and veterinary medical education and testified on Capitol Hill on 11 occasions.

King worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), where he rose to become the administrator and the highest ranking veterinarian in the USDA. Under his leadership, APHIS advocated for an impressive legislative agenda, averaging 250 House and Senate bills per year, encompassing policies and regulations for animal welfare, biotechnology, disease control and eradication in animals and plants, international trade, animal/product movements, diagnostic services, vaccine development, and wildlife services.  King originated the National Disease Detection System, which later became the U.S. National Animal Health Monitoring System, a key APHIS surveillance tool.

In 2004, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science in recognition of his significant contributions to veterinary medicine.

In 2005, Dr. King was appointed the first director for the Office of Strategy and Innovation at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and in 2006, he became the first director of the National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases, where he served as the senior CDC veterinarian. He pioneered the “One Health” program at CDC, and established CDC positions that were filled by veterinarians to ensure better linkages between human and animal health.

Dr. King was dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University (MSU) for 10 years before joining CDC. At MSU, he led efforts, together with the AAVMC, to emphasize professional development and teach new skills.  He was also a key driver in securing $58 million for new animal health diagnostic laboratory facilities at the college.  
In 2009, he returned to academia to become the CVM dean at Ohio State, where he was recently appointed executive dean for Health Services, overseeing seven health science colleges.

Dr. King is also past president of the AAVMC and currently serves as AAVMC liaison to the Legislative Advisory Committee of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).  
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The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) is a non-profit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment by advancing academic veterinary medicine. Its members include all 33 veterinary medical colleges in the United States and Canada, nine departments of veterinary science, eight departments of comparative medicine, 12 international colleges of veterinary medicine, and three affiliate members.  On the Web:

Jeanne Johnson:
202/371-9195, x144 (office)

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