AVMA congressional fellows take posts on Capitol Hill

We are pleased to announce that the three 2014-2015 AVMA Congressional Fellows have now accepted positions on Capitol Hill.

Dr. Elise Ackley will work in Sen. Dick Durbin’s (D-Ill.) office; Dr. Chase Crawford in Sen. Al Franken’s (D-Minn.) office; and Dr. Carrie La Jeunesse in Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s (R-Neb.) office. During their yearlong assignments, the fellows will use their scientific expertise and training in veterinary medicine to advise their respective members of Congress on a variety of policy issues, including: agriculture, animal health and welfare, appropriations, food safety, biosecurity, and public health.

Ackley will primarily work on Durbin’s health portfolio, but will also handle some education issues.

“I’m able to work directly on a number of issues that are closely related to our profession, such as public health and higher education issues like student loan debt,” Ackley explained. “Sen. Durbin serves in a leadership position in the Senate, so as an AVMA fellow in his office, I feel that I can make a real impact on key pieces of legislation.”

Crawford chose Franken’s office because he was interested in working on the senator’s agriculture portfolio.

“Sen. Franken has helped the swine producers during the PEDv (porcine epidemic diarrhea virus) outbreak as well as provides ongoing support to the farmers of his state. This is why I found his office so appealing,” Crawford said.

La Jeunesse will work on issues related to international development in Fortenberry’s office.

“I’m very pleased to be working for Congressman Fortenberry and his accomplished legislative staff. It will be a great place to learn about the legislative process while collaborating and contributing on a range of challenging domestic and global issues,” La Jeunesse explained.

We would like to wish the three fellows the best of luck over the next year.

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