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Dean King Awarded Melcher Leadership Award

Dr. Lonnie KingDr. Lonnie King, dean of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, was recently awarded the 2012 AAVMC Senator John Melcher, DVM Leadership in Public Policy Award from the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC). 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 dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine 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).  


About the College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State

Founded in 1885, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine is ranked fifth in the nation and includes more than 1,000 faculty, staff and students in the Departments of Veterinary Biosciences, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, and Veterinary Preventive Medicine. The Veterinary Medical Center is one of the largest specialty referral centers in the world, with more than 35,000 farm, equine, and companion animal patients each year. A nationally-recognized ambulatory practice and teaching unit in Marysville, Ohio provides farm animal experience to every veterinary student, and the Food Animal Health Research Program in Wooster, OH focuses on detection, control, and prevention of disease. Located on the only campus in the country with a comprehensive medical center offering seven health sciences colleges, we admit up to 162 veterinary students per class, and offer a new comprehensive graduate program in Veterinary and Comparative Medicine as well as a unique Master’s degree in Veterinary Public Health, in partnership with the College of Public Health.   


Last updated: 

Friday, May 4, 2012 - 2:22pm