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APHIS Administrator Announces Several Senior Leadership Changes

I want to share with you several changes taking place in important APHIS leadership positions.

Dr. Mark Davidson will be an Associate Administrator, filling the position previously held by Mike Gregoire, who retired earlier this year. Most recently, Dr. Davidson has been serving as Deputy Administrator for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Business Services (MRPBS) after many years in Veterinary Services (VS). In this position, he will oversee the work of VS, Animal Care (AC), and MRPBS.

Ms. Bernadette Juarez will be the Deputy Administrator for Biotechnology Regulatory Services, succeeding Dr. Mike Firko, who is retiring at the end of the month. Ms. Juarez has been serving as the Deputy Administrator for AC since early 2016, after earlier service as the Director of APHIS Investigative and Enforcement Services and before that as an attorney with USDA’s Office of the General Counsel. While we recruit for a permanent successor, Dr. Betty Goldentyer, currently AC’s Associate Deputy Administrator, will serve as Acting Deputy Administrator. Dr. Jerry Rushin will act as AC’s Associate Deputy Administrator.

Dr. Jack Shere will also become an Associate Administrator, filling the position previously held by Dr. Mary Bohman, who left the Agency earlier this year. Dr. Shere has been serving as Deputy Administrator for VS and Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) since early 2016 after many years in VS field leadership positions. In his new role, Dr. Shere will concentrate on emergency preparedness and planning, as well as homeland and national security issues. Among his duties will be a special focus on the emerging African swine fever threat throughout the world.

Dr. Burke Healey, currently the VS Associate Deputy Administrator, will succeed Dr. Shere as the VS Deputy Administrator and CVO. Prior to serving in this position, Dr. Healey held several VS field leadership positions and served as the State Veterinarian for Oklahoma.

Dr. Rosemary Sifford, currently the VS Associate Deputy Administrator for Strategy and Policy (S&P), will succeed Dr. Healey as the VS Associate Administrator. Prior to serving in this position, Dr. Sifford served in VS field leadership positions and was also an Agricultural Quarantine Inspection veterinarian for our Plant Protection and Quarantine program.

Dr. Sarah Tomlinson, currently the VS Executive Director for S&P, will succeed Dr. Sifford as VS Associate Deputy Administrator for S&P. Prior to serving in this position, Dr. Tomlinson served VS as the Coordinator for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network as well as a veterinary epidemiologist. We will recruit for a permanent successor to Dr. Tomlinson.

Dr. Thomas McKenna, currently Director for District One of VS Field Operations (FiOps), will be a new FiOps Executive Director. He will also serve as the FiOps Acting Associate Deputy Administrator while we recruit for a permanent successor to Dr. Brian McCluskey, who recently left the Agency.

All these changes will be effective on August 4, 2019.

I want to express my appreciation for everything these leaders have done in their current and previous positions. They have all contributed to our noble missions of feeding and clothing the world and protecting vulnerable animals. Please join me in wishing them all the best as they embark on their new adventures.

Kevin Shea

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit

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