Bruce Akey, DVM, M.S., has been named executive deputy director for the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL). Recommended by TVMDL leadership, Dr. Akey’s appointment was made Thursday by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.
A graduate of the College of William and Mary with a bachelor’s degree in biology, Dr. Akey also holds a master of science in parasitology from the University of Florida and a doctorate of veterinary medicine from the University of Minnesota. He served three and a half years as assistant state veterinarian for the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, was the chief of the Office of Laboratory Services at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for 13 years, and was in private clinical practice for 4 years prior to that.
From 2006 through 2013, Dr. Akey served as assistant dean for diagnostic operations and the executive director of the Animal Health Diagnostic Center in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University. While at Cornell, Dr. Akey oversaw a $21M annual budget and provided leadership to 170 employees at the Center. The Center receives an average of 170,000 submissions per year that generate over 1 million individual tests annually.
“Dr. Akey is an ideal fit for our executive deputy director role,” said Tammy R. Beckham, DVM, Ph.D., TVMDL director. “The Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell has many things in common with TVMDL. Both serve as core members of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network and both have a strong commitment to cutting edge diagnostics. Both the agency and our clients will benefit from the fresh ideas and energy of a leader like Dr. Akey.”
As executive deputy director, Dr. Akey will be responsible for the executive operations of the agency, focusing on day-to-day management of the four laboratory locations. He will assist the agency director in defining and implementing strategic objectives and long-range programs while maintaining the agency’s focus on diagnostic service. Dr. Akey will also oversee the agency’s quality assurance program and provide leadership to TVMDL’s three resident directors.
“I am excited to join the TVMDL team and at the prospect of directing the veterinary diagnostic laboratory for the largest and most diverse animal agriculture state in the nation,” Dr. Akey said. “My past experience in directing laboratories as well as serving as an animal health official in two states, previous participation in the design and construction of four diagnostic labs, and involvement with state and national programs should serve me well in my new position. TVMDL is well positioned to become an even more significant partner in promoting agriculture and protecting animal as well as human health in the great state of Texas and the nation.”
Dr. Akey is a nationally recognized leader in veterinary diagnostics. He has authored or co-authored more than 25 publications and has been awarded more than 30 government or private industry grants for research on topics such as highly pathogenic avian influenza, classical swine fever, Johne’s disease and rabies. He has received several leadership and service awards from the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD), the United States Department of Agriculture, Richmond Academy of Veterinary Medicine and the American Association of Food Hygiene Veterinarians. A former co-chair of two committees of the United States Animal Health Association, Dr. Akey also served as president of the AAVLD and was recognized by the organization with the E.P. Pope award for distinguished service in 2004 and lifetime membership in 2007.
Dr. Akey will begin his service at TVMDL in June, 2014.
For more information on the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, visit tvmdl.tamu.edu.
- 30 -