Clavijo Named Director of USDA National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility
Source: Agricultural Research Service/USDA ARS
via Drovers - October 1, 2019
Alfonso Clavijo has been appointed as Director of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), a state-of-the-art USDA research and diagnostic facility designed to protect the nation's agricultural systems and stakeholders against the threat and potential impact of serious animal diseases.
"Dr. Clavijo brings with him a wealth of technical knowledge in the diagnosis of transboundary, emerging and zoonotic diseases," said Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Administrator for USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS). "As NBAF's first permanent director, his extensive leadership experience will be a great as-set in helping NBAF achieve its vision of being a national asset that protects U.S. agriculture and consum-ers through cutting-edge research, diagnostics, training, and development of vaccines and other counter-measures."
ARS partners with USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to operate NBAF. The facility is currently under construction by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with commissioning scheduled for completion in 2021.
Clavijo, who starts October 13, will play a key role in ensuring the smooth transition of responsibility from DHS to USDA once the 574,000 square-foot facility becomes fully operational in 2023.
Prior to his appointment at NBAF, Clavijo served as Laboratory Executive Director of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) National Centres for Animal Disease, which operates laboratories in Winnipeg and Lethbridge. As Director, Clavijo oversaw the administration of diagnostic services, related technology development and research to detect and prevent transboundary, emerging and zoonotic animal diseases.
He also directed the management of biosafety level (BSL) 2-4 facilities that allow for the contained study of pathogens that cause foreign animal diseases, including foot-and-mouth, African swine fever, classical swine fever and highly pathogenic avian influenza.
Under Clavijo's leadership, CFIA's National Centre for Foreign Animal Diseases in Winnipeg was named...