OIE gains new director general

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Dr. Monique Eloit, a former chief veterinary officer for France, became the seventh director general of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Jan. 1.

The start of her five-year term followed the departure of Dr. Bernard Vallat after 15 years in the organization’s top office.

In an OIE announcement, Dr. Eloit pledged to enhance the OIE’s visibility and performance through stronger control of animal diseases and new partnerships and collaborations on public health and food safety.

Drs. Eloit and Vallat
Dr. Monique Eloit, who became director general of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Jan. 1, is congratulated by her predecessor, Dr. Bernard Vallat, after her election last May. (Courtesy of D. Mordzinski/OIE)

“I shall accord a higher level of priority to the health status of farmed animals, both to protect health and to support the socio-economic development of the animal production sector,” she said in the announcement.

Dr. Eloit had been deputy director general for the OIE, responsible for administration, management, human resources, and regional actions, according to the OIE. In May 2015, national delegates elected her as the next director general.

Her predecessor, Dr. Vallat, was director general during expansion of OIE activities to include animal welfare, responses to influenza and foot-and-mouth disease crises, expansion of membership among countries, and creation of the World Animal Health and Welfare Fund, according to the OIE announcement.

Dr. Vallat also was in that office for the 2011 declaration that cattle plague, rinderpest, had been eradicated. And he became the first recipient of the Penn Vet World Award in 2008, honored in particular for his work to promote animal health in developing countries.

Related JAVMA content:

Starting from day one (Aug. 1, 2011)

No rest between eradication campaigns (Jan. 1, 2011)

Advancing global animal health (June 1, 2008)

Global warning system for zoonotic diseases launched (Oct. 1, 2006)