Shere named permanent USDA chief veterinary officer

Acting chief veterinary officer named permanent replacement for Dr. John Clifford, who held position for 12 years.

Last month, Kevin Shea named Dr. Jack Shere as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s acting chief veterinary officer and deputy administrator for Veterinary Services (VS). Today, he made the appointment permanent.

Shere replaces Dr. John Clifford, who served as deputy administrator for 12 years and is now chief trade adviser for the VS National Import Export Services. Shea said Shere will lead the program’s many employees in protecting and improving the health, quality and marketability of U.S. livestock, animal products and veterinary biologics. He will also oversee the national and international reference laboratory network of VS.

“Dr. Shere brings a wealth of veterinary knowledge, skills and hands-on experience to the VS deputy position. I am confident that these skills, coupled with his management expertise, will position VS well to not only defend against the many foreign pests and diseases that regularly threaten the United States but to continue our diligent efforts to maintain and open new markets,” Shea said. “I also know he intends to focus on and strengthen our domestic programs to further enhance the health and vitality of U.S. livestock.”

Shere joined VS in 1990 as a field veterinary medical officer in Nebraska and Wisconsin and has held many leadership positions since then, including associate western regional director from 2002 to 2005 and eastern regional director from 2005 to 2013. Shere has served as VS associate deputy administrator since 2013.

Beyond the domestic disease work that is a large part of the program’s mission, Shere has extensive experience with animal disease outbreaks, including Salmonella enteritidis, foot and mouth disease in England, low-pathogenic avian influenza, exotic Newcastle disease (END) and highly pathogenic avian influenza. During the extensive 2002-03 END outbreak in California, Texas, New Mexico and Utah, Shere served as the joint area commander and incident commander, leading a massive federal and state eradication effort for nine months until the disease was eradicated from the U.S.

At Iowa State University, Shere received a bachelor of science degree in biology and chemistry in 1981, a doctor of veterinary medicine degree in 1987 and a master of science degree in education with a minor in counseling in 1988. He received Ph.D. degrees in poultry science and microbiology in 2001 from the University of Wisconsin. He also practiced veterinary clinical medicine for three years in Georgia.

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