(SCHAUMBURG, Illinois)—The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) House of Delegates has elected Dr. Michael J. Topper of Harleysville, Penn., as the organization’s president-elect. Topper, the first board-certified veterinary pathologist to hold this office, will serve as a voting member of the AVMA Board of Directors. He was elected to the post during the House of Delegates’ regular annual session in San Antonio.
As president-elect, Topper will assist the president in supervising all the business affairs of the AVMA. He also will serve on the AVMA Board of Governors, which acts as the executive committee of the association, and will be the presiding officer at all sessions of the House of Delegates. Topper will become AVMA president in 2017, upon expiration of the current president’s term of office.
"These are times of great change and many challenges for the AVMA and the veterinary profession,” said Topper. “However, challenges also create new opportunities for increased member engagement and improvement in how the organization acts on behalf of the entire breadth of the profession. As president-elect, I will be an integral part of addressing these challenges, and have the opportunity to interact with the entire spectrum of our profession by representing the AVMA at national and international meetings and conferences. These interactions are critical to understanding, firsthand, the concerns of our members. I will bring those concerns back to the leadership team for consideration of possible resolutions, and follow up with directed and effective communication to our members. We must move forward together in order to protect, promote and advance as one to better the veterinary profession."
A veteran of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps retiring at the rank of colonel, Topper is a past chair of the AVMA House Advisory Committee and previously represented Pennsylvania in the House of Delegates. He currently is director of clinical pathology for Merck Research Laboratories, and was previously director of the Division of Pathology at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.
Topper received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.