The Department of Homeland Security has selected Dr. Lawrence Barrett to serve for two years as director of the Plum Island Animal Disease Center.
The Homeland Security Department also is in the midst of selecting a site to build a facility to replace the center on Plum Island. At press time, 18 sites were under consideration for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. The department was about to announce a shorter list of potential sites.
The department plans to select a site in October 2008. The facility will not be operational until 2013 or 2014.
At the Plum Island center, Dr. Barrett has served as the interim director since October 2006. He also is a specialist in foreign animal and zoonotic infectious diseases with the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
Previously, Dr. Barrett headed the Division of Food, Drug, and Radiation Safety within the California Department of Health Services and was the state veterinarian for public health. He has served on active duty in the Air Force as a base veterinarian and public health officer, and he is now a reserve colonel public health officer.
Dr. Barrett is a past president of the American Association of Public Health Veterinarians and a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. He received his veterinary degree from Oklahoma State University in 1981.