October 15, 2015


 Henderson promoted, Ackley joins AVMA staff

Posted Sept. 30, 2015

Dr. Kristi Henderson Dr. Elise Ackley

In August, the AVMA announced the promotion of Dr. Kristi Henderson to director of the Association’s Division of Animal and Public Health, formerly known as the Scientific Activities Division.

Also in August, Dr. Elise Ackley joined the AVMA staff as an assistant director in the Governmental Relations Division. A former AVMA Congressional Science Fellow, Dr. Ackley is managing the Association’s public policy portfolio on animal welfare, wildlife, and zoo animals.

Dr. Henderson is a 1996 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. She worked in private practice and as a federal veterinary medical officer before joining the AVMA in 2009 as an assistant director in the Scientific Activities Division. In 2014, she was named acting director and then interim director.

She is responsible for such areas as the environment, wildlife, biosecurity, and animal agriculture. Additionally, Dr. Henderson provides technical and scientific expertise to the AVMA Committee on Environmental Issues and the Animal Agriculture Liaison Committee.

Dr. Ackley is a 2014 graduate of the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine with a focus on public practice. After graduation, she served in the office of U.S. Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin as a 2014-2015 AVMA fellow focused on agriculture and public health policy.

During veterinary school, Dr. Ackley was involved in the Student AVMA, serving as its president in 2013-2014. She interned in the offices of U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and was a student volunteer scholar in the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Health Affairs.

Additionally, Dr. Ackley served as an intern in the World Health Organization’s Neglected Tropical Diseases Division and in the legislative and public affairs office at the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

“Elise is an enthusiastic public policy professional, and she is a great addition to the AVMA team,” GRD Director Mark Lutschaunig said.