Valerie E. Ragan, DVM
Dr. Valerie Ragan is director of the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine with the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM). She is responsible for leadership of the Center, which trains students for veterinary practice other than private for-fee practice. This includes the areas of public health and policy, disease control and eradication, corporate veterinary medicine, systems thinking and implementing a One Health approach, and international veterinary medicine. The Center also works to increase opportunities for student engagement in national and international veterinary and animal health organizations involved in public veterinary practice, and provides training and guidance to veterinarians interesting in transitioning from one career area in veterinary medicine to another. Dr. Ragan also continues to work around the world on the control and eradication of brucellosis, a major disease of importance in livestock and human health, and on projects related to veterinary capacity building.
Prior to joining the VMCVM, Ragan was the president of a veterinary consulting company in Washington, DC, where her activities included resolving animal health issues such as disease control, eradication, and surveillance, and international veterinary capacity building.
Before initiating her consulting company and after five years as a private small animal practitioner, Ragan transitioned to the Veterinary Services program with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA. She began her work with the USDA as a veterinary medical officer and public practice career trainee. She then served as the Area Epidemiology Officer in two states, before being promoted to senior staff veterinarian in Washington DC, serving as the National Brucellosis Epidemiologist. She subsequently served as assistant deputy administrator of the agency’s Veterinary Services program. In that capacity, she served as the national animal health surveillance coordinator, and established the National Surveillance Unit at USDA’s Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health.
Ragan completed her pre-veterinary work at Virginia Tech and received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1983 from the University of Georgia. She also completed post-graduate work in biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health.
View Dr. Ragan's bio page for more information.
Cassidy Rist, DVM, MPH
Dr. Cassidy Rist joined the veterinary college as an assistant professor of practice in the Department of Population Health Sciences in August 2016. A veterinary epidemiologist with a background in One Health, infectious diseases, and emergency preparedness, Dr. Rist supports programs and initiatives in the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine.
Prior to joining the college, Dr. Rist was a veterinary medical officer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service where she served as Interim Emergency Coordinator for Maryland and Delaware. She earned a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, and a master of public health degree in global epidemiology from Emory University in Atlanta.
Dr. Rist worked in small animal practice for seven years before transitioning to public veterinary practice. She completed a two-year Fellowship with the One Health Office at the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, where she played a primary role in the development of the One Health Zoonotic Disease Prioritization Tool. The Tool was designed to promote collaborative decision-making between human and animal health sectors, and is now used by CDC at international sites under the Global Health Security Agenda to assist countries in developing a list of zoonotic disease priorities for surveillance, research and response activities. Dr. Rist also completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Harvard Medical School in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, where her researched focused on the economic and health impacts of animal disease on rural populations in Madagascar.
Dr. Rist is a member of the One Health Surveillance Working Group in the International Society for Disease Surveillance, the European Network for the Evaluation of One Health, and the International Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics.
College Park Campus
Nathaniel L. Tablante, DVM, MPVM, MS, DACPV
Dr. Nathaniel L. Tablante is associate director of the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine and associate professor and Extension poultry veterinarian at the University of Maryland, College Park campus of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. He is responsible for advancing the center, advising pre-veterinary students, and increasing opportunities for engagement with corporate poultry medicine.
Dr. Tablante has over 30 years of experience as a veterinarian in government, industry, and academia. He has spent a large part of his veterinary career as a field veterinarian in the Philippines, Canada, and the United States. He has 25 years of experience in poultry health management, epidemiology, and biosecurity and has authored and co-authored numerous articles and educational materials on poultry health, biosecurity, and disease prevention. He has also served as a consultant on poultry biosecurity and Avian Influenza preparedness and response in the United States, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, and the Republic of Georgia.
Since assuming a faculty position at the University of Maryland in 1997, Dr. Tablante has implemented an Extension and applied research program that focuses on improving poultry health and production through biosecurity and disease prevention on the Delmarva Peninsula and the mid-Atlantic region. His research involves investigating multiple poultry and zoonotic diseases of economic and public health importance.
Dr. Tablante is an active member of the American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP) where he serves on the Epidemiology, Education, and Public Health Committees. He has also played a major role with the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) which he joined as the AAAP representative in 2006 and served as its president from 2011-2012. He took a one-year sabbatical leave from the University of Maryland to serve as an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 2013-2014 Congressional Fellow in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In addition to his DVM degree from the University of the Philippines, Dr. Tablante completed a Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine (major in public health) at the University of California-Davis and a Master of Science (major in poultry health and epidemiology) at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians.
Kathleen Alexander, DVM, PhD
Dr. Kathleen Alexander has been conducting research in East and Southern Africa for over twenty years. She has worked for the Government of Botswana as both the Chief of the Wildlife Veterinary Unit in the Department of Wildlife and National Parks and later, as the Ecological Advisor to the Office of the President of Botswana and the Attorney Generals Chambers. She has spent most of her professional life working with local communities integrating scientific approaches with traditional understanding in order to identify interventions for improved rural livelihoods. She is a member of both the World Conservation Union's Wildlife Health Specialist Group as well as the Commission for Ecosystem Management. She moved to Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech in 2007 where she continues to conduct research in her long-term Botswana study site on the dynamics of emerging infectious disease at the human - animal interface. Kathleen received both her PhD and veterinary degree from University of California, Davis.
W. Ron DeHaven, DVM, MBA
Dr. Ron DeHaven was the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), from August 2007 until September 2016, serving a membership of nearly 90,000 veterinarians. He recently started a private consulting firm, DeHaven Veterinary Solutions, LLC.
Dr. DeHaven has more than two decades of experience with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) serving as the Administrator of the agency from 2004 to 2007. In that capacity he was responsible for 8,300 employees serving in 30 countries and an annual budget of $1.9 billion. He gained national prominence in 2003 and 2004 when bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) and H5N1 avian influenza were making national headlines.
Dr. DeHaven was commissioned into the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps and served in the U.S. Army Reserves and National Guard, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He obtained his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Purdue University in 1975 and a master's degree in business administration from Millsaps College in 1989. Dr. DeHaven received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Purdue University in 2005.
Dr. DeHaven received two Presidential Rank Awards for his leadership in government. The AVMA honored Dr. DeHaven's contributions to the veterinary profession with the Meritorious Service Award in 2004.
CAPT Charlotte Spires, DVM, MPH, DACVPM
On August 1, 2017, CAPT Charlotte Spires assumed the position of Chief Veterinarian for the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) National Disaster Medical System's (NDMS) National Veterinary Response Team (NVRT) which is within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). In this role, she oversees and coordinates all aspects of the NVRT, serves as subject matter expert on veterinary mission activities, and acts as principle veterinary medical/emergency preparedness/planning advisor to HHS Regional Administrators. She also develops veterinary medical policies and guidelines to carry out HHS, ASPR, and NDMS legislative mandates for readiness. For the prior 5 years, CAPT Spires served in ASPR as Executive Director and Designated Federal Official for the National Preparedness and Response Science Board and National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters for HHS. She received her commission into the US Public Health Service (PHS) in 1995 and has formal training and experience in epidemiology, food safety and public health. Dr. Spires has certifications in risk communication, six sigma and project management. She has served FDA as Director of the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine’s (CVM) Division of Epidemiology, Quality Manager for the CVM Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation, Project Manager for the FDA After-hours Call Center in the Office of the Commissioner (OC), Senior Epidemiologist at the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, and Senior Program Management Officer in the FDA OC Office of Policy and Planning. CAPT Spires received her DVM degree from the Tuskegee Institute School of Veterinary Medicine and her Master of Public Health degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health and Hygiene. She has served as Director of the Commissioned Officers Association (COA) Board of Directors, Veterinary Category Representative to the COA and has deployed for animal rescue operations in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike. She developed a risk based algorithm for the management of companion animals of hurricane evacuees with special medical needs and successfully implemented that algorithm at a Federal Medical Station established for Hurricane Ike evacuees in College Station, TX. She received the US PHS Commendation medal for that effort and was also chosen as the 2009 USPHS Veterinary Responder of the Year.
Stephen F. Sundlof, DVM, PhD
Dr. Stephen F. Sundlof, a former executive with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), served a two-year assignment with the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine (CPCVM), and is currently serving as adjunct faculty. Sundlof's focus is on food safety and security, and career transition training for veterinarians interested in public service.
Sundlof has served as director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition from 2008 to 2010, and spent the previous 14 years as director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine. He began his career in 1980 on the faculty of the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine.
Sundlof has published numerous articles in scientific journals on drug residues and food safety. From 1994 to 2008, he served as chairman of the World Health Organization/Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Codex Alimentarius Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Toxicology and a former president of the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
He is currently the Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Kindred Biosciences, Inc., a biopharmaceutical focused on saving and improving the lives of companion animals.