CFIA chief officers
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- Chief Veterinary Officer and Delegate to the World Organisation for Animal Health
- Chief Food Safety Officer
- Chief Plant Health Officer
- Chief Science Operating Officer and Science Integrity Lead
Chief Veterinary Officer and Delegate to the World Organisation for Animal Health
The Chief Veterinary Officer for Canada and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Delegate provides national leadership to ensure that Canada's animal and veterinary public health infrastructure is positioned to effectively manage current and emerging disease threats in order to protect animal and human health and to maintain international trust in Canada's inspection and certification systems in support of market access.
Dr. Mary Jane Ireland is the Executive Director of the Animal Health Directorate, Policy and Programs Branch at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). She is also the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) for Canada and the OIE Delegate for Canada.
Dr. Ireland graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph, with a degree in Veterinary Medicine and a post-graduate degrees in Veterinary Immunology and Business Administration. She began her career in a mixed animal practice in eastern Ontario.
In 2002, Dr. Ireland joined the Veterinary Drugs Directorate at Health Canada and held various positions, including Director General. In 2020, Dr. Ireland joined the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as the Executive Director of the Animal Health Directorate.
As the Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Ireland leads Canada's efforts to effectively manage current and emerging disease threats in order to protect animal health and human health, and to maintain international trust in Canada's inspection and certification systems in support of market access.
As the OIE Delegate, Dr. Ireland represents Canada on the international stage, and plays an integral role in Canada's participation in the OIE standard- setting process for the development and adoption of animal health standards and guidelines. In this role Dr. Ireland works to ensure that the standards are appropriately and consistently implemented in Canada. She is also responsible for notifying the OIE of reportable animal disease occurrences in Canada.
Chief Food Safety Officer
The Chief Food Safety Officer for Canada plays a key role in the development of policies, regulations and program design related to preventing and responding to food safety risks.
Tammy Switucha is the Acting Executive Director of the Food Safety and Consumer Protection Division and has held various positions within the agency, including Senior Director, Food Safety Planning and Requirements and Director, International Affairs.
Ms. Switucha led the development, drafting and engagement for the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations from 2015 to 2018 and worked with her CFIA colleagues to implement the regulations upon their coming into force in 2019.
Recently, Ms. Switucha was asked to take on the additional role of Chief Food Safety Officer of Canada on an interim basis. The Chief Food Safety Officer plays a key role in the development of policies, regulations and program design related to preventing and responding to food safety risks.
Chief Plant Health Officer
The Chief Plant Health Officer for Canada plays a key leadership role in the policies related to plant health in Canada at the domestic and international level.
Dr. William Anderson is the Executive Director of the Plant Health and Biosecurity Directorate in the Policy and Programs Branch at the CFIA. He received his Ph.D. degree in biochemistry in 1993 from the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. After working as a Research Associate at the National Research Council's Plant Biotech Institute in Saskatoon, he left the laboratory setting to work in the ag-biotech private sector. Dr. Anderson joined the CFIA in 2002 and has held various management positions working on programs and policies related to plant health, animal health and food safety, including substantive acting roles as Associate Vice-President and Chief Science Operating Officer in the Science Branch.
As Chief Plant Health Officer, Dr. Anderson provides leadership in strengthening plant health systems through fostering communication and partnerships among federal, provincial and territorial governments, industry, academia and other stakeholders with a role in plant health. Dr. Anderson is responsible for domestic, import and export policies related to the sector, including the protection of plants, crops and forests from regulated pests and diseases.
Dr. Anderson is also the CFIA's lead plant protection representative internationally. This work involves bilateral negotiations with key trading partners to improve market access opportunities, and representing Canada at the International Plant Protection Convention, the North American Plant Protection Organization and other international venues.
Chief Science Operating Officer and Science Integrity Lead
The Chief Science Operating Officer is responsible for providing strategic leadership and ensuring sound management of CFIA's 13 laboratories in order to deliver the agency's high-priority science needs in food safety, animal health and plant health.
Dr. Primal Silva is a veterinarian and a Ph.D. scientist with several years of postdoctoral training. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Sydney, Australia, and furthered his studies at McMaster University and at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. He worked as an Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph before joining the federal public service in 1993. He has since held several positions with increasing responsibilities, including Executive Director of the Animal Health Science Directorate and, currently, Chief Science Operating Officer at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
As Chief Science Operating Officer, Dr. Silva has management accountability for all of the agency's 13 laboratories in order to deliver on the agency's high-priority science needs in food safety, animal health and plant health. He provides management oversight of the daily operations of the laboratory services and the agency's research, as well as strategic leadership in science engagements with academic, federal, provincial and territorial stakeholders. He is also the Science Integrity Lead responsible for promoting high scientific and ethical standards to ensure the foundational principles of scientific integrity are upheld throughout the agency. Dr. Silva represents the CFIA on numerous interdepartmental initiatives to promote regulatory science needs across the Government of Canada, including collaborative programs and federal infrastructure.
Dr. Silva actively promotes Canada's global leadership in regulatory science through strategic partnerships and involvement with a variety of international bodies. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, co-chair of the Biosafety Level 4 Zoonotic Laboratory Network and Canadian representative on the Global Coalition of Regulatory Science Research.
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