AVMA announces 2014-2015 Congressional Fellows

AVMA’s Governmental Relations Division is pleased to announce three veterinarians who have been selected to participate in the 2014-2015 AVMA Congressional Fellowship Program: Elise Ackley, Chase Crawford and Dr. Carolyn La Jeunesse. They will begin their fellowships in Washington, D.C., this coming August.

Each fellow will spend a year on Capitol Hill advising members of Congress and their staff on matters of national concern from animal welfare to food safety to public health. The fellowship program also heightens awareness and enhances the reputation of the veterinary profession on Capitol Hill.

The fellows come from very diverse backgrounds:

Elise Ackley Ackley is a native of Shreveport, La., where she is a 2014 graduate from Louisiana State University. Throughout her veterinary education, Ackley has worked for a number of congressional offices and regulatory agencies, including: the Department of Homeland Security, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. She also previously served as a student extern in AVMA’s Governmental Relations Division and as president of the Student American Veterinary Medical Association.

Chase Crawford Crawford, originally from Houston, Texas, is a 2014 graduate from Texas A&M University. During his time as a student, he has focused on issues related to the One Health concept and has experience working at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the WHO.

Dr. Carolyn La Jeunesse La Jeunesse is from Port Orchard, Wash., and is a 1983 graduate from the University of California-Davis. As a clinician, she primarily practices in the area of small companion animal emergency and critical care. She is a writer, educator and consultant in many areas related to professional career development, communications, professional wellness, biomedical ethics and end-of-life issues for those working in caregiving professions. As a past president of the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association, she has also collaborated on issues and policy related to veterinary practice and animal health and welfare at the local, state and national levels.

The 2014-2015 fellows were selected out of 20 applicants after completing a three-phased, competitive selection process which started in February. For more information, see AVMA’s press release.

Best of luck to our new Fellows as they embark on this unique opportunity which will help shape the future of the veterinary profession.

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