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NC State Veterinary Medicine Grad Named U.S. Chief Veterinary Officer

barn with dramatic sunset
Sunset at the TAU barn. Photo by NC State Veterinary Medicine.

Rosemary Sifford, a 2000 graduate of the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine, has been named deputy administrator of the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and chief veterinary officer of the United States. The appointment is effective Aug. 1. 

The announcement was made by APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea.

Since 2020, Sifford has served as the associate deputy administrator of APHIS’ animal care program.  Before joining animal care, she was associate deputy administrator of veterinary services. 

Sifford began her career with APHIS in 1997 as a Saul T. Wilson Scholar and has held a number of positions within the agency, including working as an agricultural quarantine inspection veterinarian for the plant protection and quarantine program.

Sifford also holds an undergraduate degree in animal science from NC State.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service protects the health of U.S. agriculture and natural resources against invasive pests and diseases, regulates genetically engineered crops, administers the Animal Welfare Act and certifies the health of U.S. agricultural exports.

APHIS also oversees the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) Scientist Training Program fellowship, which provides financial support and mentorships for those pursuing advanced degrees in fields such as molecular biology and virology.

Two CVM students have received the fellowship since it launched in 2018.  Grayson Walker was named a fellow earlier this year and Amanda Kortum received the honor in 2019. Fellows commit to working at the NBAF’s Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory after graduation. 

~Steve Volstad/NC State Veterinary Medicine