Dr. Jack Shere has been named acting U.S. Department of Agriculture chief veterinary officer and deputy administrator for Veterinary Services (VS).
In these roles, Shere will lead the program’s many employees in protecting and improving the health, quality and marketability of U.S. agricultural animals, animal products and veterinary biologics. He will also oversee the national and international reference laboratory network of VS, said Kevin Shea, administrator of USDA's Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which houses VS.
Shere takes over the roles from Dr. John Clifford, who is now the chief trade adviser for the VS National Import Export Services. Clifford had spent 12 years as VS deputy administrator.
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.
Shea noted that Shere has extensive experience with animal disease outbreaks, including Salmonella enteritidis, foot and mouth disease in England, low-pathogenic avian influenza, exotic Newcastle disease and highly pathogenic avian influenza.
During the extensive 2002-03 Newcastle disease 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.