Dr. Jack Shere, associate administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recently received the highest honor given to alumni by Iowa State University through the ISU Alumni Association. The Distinguished Alumni Award honors ISU alumni who are nationally and/or internationally recognized for preeminent contributions to their professions or life’s work.
Shere joined APHIS in 1990 as a field medical officer in Nebraska and Wisconsin and has held many leadership positions since then, including area veterinarian in charge for Wisconsin, associate western regional director, eastern regional director, deputy administrator for veterinary services and chief veterinary officer of the United States. As APHIS associate administrator, with emphasis on emergency and regulatory compliance services and veterinary services, he remains dedicated to protecting and improving the health of our nation’s agricultural animals, animal products and veterinary biologics.
“I am very grateful and proud that I had the opportunity to serve as the chief veterinary officer of the United States and now as APHIS associate administrator,” Shere says. “These roles will always mean a great deal to me as they are the pinnacle of my career in federal service.”
Shere has worked on the front lines during some of the world’s foremost crises, including Salmonella enteritidis, foot and mouth disease in England, low pathogenic avian influenza, exotic Newcastle disease (END) and high pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). During a nine-month period in 2002-03, Shere led the federal efforts jointly with the states to eradicate the devastating END outbreak on the ground in California, Texas, New Mexico and Utah. Then, during the HPAI outbreak in 2014-15, Shere again oversaw ground operations in 21 affected states. In both cases, Shere provided leadership and devoted tireless effort until these diseases were eradicated from the United States.
Other awards Shere has received throughout his distinguished career include the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine’s Stange Award (2017), the Council Bluffs (Iowa) Thomas Jefferson High School Hall of Fame Award (2014), the APHIS Civil Rights Award (2012), the U.S. Animal Health Association Partnership Award (2010-11) and USDA Secretary of Agriculture Individual Honor Awards for both his leadership on END and Foot and Mouth in England.