April 15, 2015


 King leaving Ohio State this fall

​Posted April 1, 2015

Dr. Lonnie J. King will step down from his position as dean of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine this August.

An accomplished scholar and national leader in understanding emerging diseases as well as the connections between human and animal health, Dr. King (Ohio State ’70) has devoted more than 40 years to advancing the causes of one health and preventive medicine as well as advocating for veterinary-related legislation.  

Dr. Lonnie J. King

Dr. King started out in private practice, eventually making his way to the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. There, he dedicated 19 years of his career, culminating in his serving as the agency’s administrator for four years. During that period, he also served as the country’s chief veterinary officer for five years and worked extensively on global trade agreements and protecting the nation’s plant and animal resources. Dr. King originated the National Disease Detection System, which later became the U.S. National Animal Health Monitoring System. He left APHIS briefly to serve as the director of the AVMA Governmental Relations Division from 1987-1988.

Dr. King also served as dean at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine from 1996-2006. He was a key driver in securing $58 million for new animal health diagnostic laboratory facilities at the college.

In 2005, he joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as its first director of the Office of Strategy and Innovation. A year later, he became the first director of the National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases and served as the senior CDC veterinarian. Dr. King pioneered the one-health program at the CDC and established veterinary positions at the agency to ensure better linkages with human health. 

In 2009, Dr. King returned to Ohio State as dean of the veterinary college. He was also appointed executive dean for health services, overseeing seven health science colleges; holds the Ruth Stanton Chair in Veterinary Medicine; and serves as a professor of preventive veterinary medicine. 

Throughout Dr. King’s distinguished career, he has met and interacted with congressional representatives, state legislators, executive branch leaders, and staffers on issues of animal and public health and veterinary education, and on 11 occasions, he testified on Capitol Hill. 

Among Dr. King’s accomplishments and titles, he is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, served as president of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges from 1999-2000, and was the vice chair for the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues from 2000-2004. He has master’s degrees in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota and in public administration from American University.

Dr. King helped start the National Alliance for Food Safety, served on four National Academies committees, and was elected as a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in 2004. In addition, he chaired the National Academies Committee on Assessing the Nation’s Framework for Addressing Animal Diseases, the AVMA One Health Initiative Task Force in 2008, and, most recently, the Task Force on Antibiotic Resistance in Production Agriculture, created this past year to influence federal research on antimicrobial use and resistance.

The dean of Ohio State’s College of Pharmacy is heading the search committee for Dr. King’s successor; final candidates will be invited for on-campus interviews in May. The new dean is slated to start Sept. 1.

The veterinary college will continue to move forward with a $30 million expansion and enhancement project for its Veterinary Medical Center. A groundbreaking ceremony took place this past September; the center is expected to open in early 2016.