The AVMA announced in July the selection of Drs. Meera Chandra and Fred Lehman for the 2018-19 AVMA Fellowship Program.
Beginning this August, Drs. Chandra and Lehman will spend a year in Washington, D.C., as full-time staff for a congressional office or congressional committee. During their tenure, fellows advise policymakers on a wide range of issues including food safety, public health, animal welfare, research, and small-business policies.
In September, the fellows will interview with congressional offices to receive their year-long placements where they will support the activities of that office full time. Fellows are not AVMA employees or lobbyists.
The fellows were selected from 12 applicants for the program following a three-phase, competitive selection process. The Fellowship Selection Committee was chaired by Dr. Tom Meyer, former AVMA president, and included former AVMA Fellow Dr. Rachel Cumberbatch and Adrian Hochstadt, AVMA deputy chief executive officer.
Dr. Chandra of Tampa, Florida, is a 2018 cum laude graduate of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine and College of Public Health and Health Professions. As a veterinary student, she worked with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Health Affairs, and the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Dr. Lehman of Overland Park, Kansas, most recently worked for Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health as senior associate director of business development and licensing. He was an associate professor and extension leader at Mississippi State University and once owned a mixed animal practice in Texas. Dr. Lehman is a 1980 graduate of Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences as well as a diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists.
The AVMA Fellowship Program is sponsored through the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which works to place qualified scientific experts in congressional offices where they are needed. The AVMA provides funding for the program. To date, more than 65 veterinarians have participated in the AVMA Fellowship Program.