APHIS names new associate, deputy administrators | TheFencePost.com

APHIS names new associate, deputy administrators

Michael Watson

Kevin Shea, the administrator of the Agriculture Department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, named Michael Watson as an associate administrator of the agency and made several other personnel changes.

Shea said Watson would carry out the agency's day-to-day operations, work with stakeholders and employees and oversee the activities of every APHIS program area and support unit. Shea said there are two APHIS associate administrators, and Mike Gregoire holds the other position. Watson succeeds Jere Dick, who retired.

Watson has served as associate deputy administrator for APHIS' Marketing and Regulatory Programs Business Services.

Shea said he asked Mark Davidson, associate deputy administrator for veterinary services overseeing National Import Export Services, to take over Watson's previous position.

Shea said Watson has a doctoral degree in plant pathology, but two years ago took over as MRPBS' Human Resources division director, and that Watson has worked for several different federal agencies.

Before joining APHIS' Biotechnology Regulatory Services in 2003, he worked for USDA's Agricultural Research Service, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration. After seven years with MRPBS, he moved to the Plant Protection and Quarantine divison, where he served in several roles before being named associate deputy administrator.

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Shea said Davidson has spent the past 19 years with Veterinary Services and will now be responsible for APHIS internal business operations.

Before joining APHIS in 1998, Davidson spent two years with USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. He has held positions with Veterinary Services in the regional office in Fort Collins, Colorado and at headquarters.

Shea also noted that last week he announced that Cheryle Blakely will be the new deputy administrator for International Services, succeeding Beverly Simmons, who retired; and Janet Bucknall will be the new deputy administrator for Wildlife Services, succeeding Bill Clay, who retired.

Blakely was the acting deputy administrator for International Services and Bucknall was the eastern region director for Wildlife Services.