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Dr. Norman G. Willis
Managing Partner
Research & Life Sciences

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Dr. Willis is a distinguished scientist and a leading international authority in the prevention, eradication and control of animal diseases. He is Honorary President (lifetime) of the World Health Organization for Animal Health (OIE or Office International des Epizooties) in Paris (France) after serving as Vice President and President for one full term. Dr. Willis is the only North American to serve as president since the foundation of OIE in 1923. He recently led a team to study the future of veterinary-medicine education for the Association of American Veterinary Medicine Colleges, which includes schools in the U.S., Canada and off-shore colleges in the U.K., the Netherlands and New Zealand, among others.

Dr. Willis directed the design and construction of Canada’s first and only maximum bio-containment laboratory. He held a joint appointment with Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as Executive Director of the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health. He was also Director General - Animal and Plant Health Directorate, Food Production and Inspection Branch in the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada where he was responsible for eight animal pathology and plant protection laboratories and the national animal health and plant protection programs. As Senior Technical Advisor to the Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food for BSE in Asia, Dr. Willis played an instrumental role in helping resolve agricultural trade issues between Canada, Japan, China and other Pacific Rim countries. He was also Program Consultant for the construction of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) BSL-03 Animal Facility at Ames (Iowa); and Consultant managing an international working group for the development of alternatives to animal disposal.

Dr. Willis holds a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Ontario Veterinary College, a Diploma in Bacteriology from the School of Hygiene, University of Toronto, and a PhD in Virology from the School of Hygiene, University of Toronto. He was a Member of the Executive Committee, United States Animal Health Association; and the Chairperson of the International Working Group on Animal Disposal Alternatives (IWADA). He also served as Senior Statesman evaluating the International Forum on the International Aspects of Accidental Release or Deliberate Use of Biological Agents Affecting Food and Agriculture hosted by Texas A&M University Systems’s Integrative Center for Homeland Security. In May 2007, Dr. Willis was awarded the Gold Metal for Meritorious Service (Médaille D'Or) at the 75th general session of the OIE held in Paris. He is the first Canadian to receive such an award.

DETAILED PROFESSIONAL VITAE


EDUCATION
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine: Ontario Veterinary College, 1963
  • Diploma in Bacteriology: School of Hygiene - University of Toronto, 1968
  • PhD – Virology: School of Hygiene - University of Toronto, 1973
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
  • Honorary President (Lifetime): World Health Organization for Animal Health (OIE), Paris (France), 2003
  • Scientific Advisor: Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, 2002–Present
  • Senior Technical Advisor: Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agrifood for BSE in Asia, Tokyo (Japan), 2004–Present
  • Program Consultant: Construction of a BSL-03, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Facility at Ames, Iowa as part of the ARS-APHIS, Master Plan (Contract with Merrick & Company), 2002-Present
  • Consultant: Manager of an international working group for the development of alternatives to animal disposal (Contract with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency), 2001-Present
  • Executive Director: Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health, Winnipeg (Manitoba), a joint appointment with Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2000-2001
  • President: L’Office International des Epizooties (OIE), Paris (France), 1997-2000
  • Special Advisor: President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 1997-2000
  • Executive Director: National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease, Winnipeg (Manitoba), 1996-99
  • Director General: Animal and Plant Health Directorate, Food Production and Inspection Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa (Ontario): Responsible for eight animal pathology and plant protection laboratories and the national animal health and plant protection programs, 1991-1996
  • Director-General: Health of Animals Directorate, Food Production and Inspection Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: Responsible for eight laboratories for animal pathology and the national animal health program, Ottawa (Ontario), 1987-1991
  • Director: Animal Pathology Division: Responsible for eight laboratories across Canada, Ottawa (Ontario), 1980-1987
  • Director: Animal Pathology Laboratory, Guelph (Ontario), 1978-1980
  • Virologist: Virology Section, Animal Diseases Research Institute: diagnosis and research of foreign animal diseases, arboviruses and avian diseases; Course Director for foreign animal disease recognition courses for veterinarians from Canada and from a number of other countries, Grosse Ile (Quebec), 1971-78
  • Veterinary Scientist: Animal Diseases Research Institute, 1965-67
  • Post-Graduate Studies: School of Hygiene - University of Toronto, 1967-71
  • Private Small Animal Practitioner: Agincourt (Ontario), 1964-65
INTERNATIONAL CONSULTATIONS
  • Invited participant on a review panel for the future of Veterinary Services in the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Wasghington (DC), 1997
  • Invited participant on a panel to review the research program of the Plum Island Animal Disease Centre (PIADC), and the diagnostic program of the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory of PIADC for the USDA, 1998
  • Requested by the Administrator of the USDA to review, evaluate and comment on an ARS-APHIS Master Plan for Facility Consolidation and Modernization at Ames, Iowa, valued at $379 million US in response to a Congressional Directive for the Secretary of Agriculture, 2001
ACTIVITIES OF NOTE
  • Managed Projects Design and construction of new veterinary diagnostic and research laboratories at Lethbridge (Alberta), Guelph (Ontario), St. Hyacinthe (Quebec) and Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island), 1980-87
  • Directed the design and construction of Canada’s first and only maximum biocontainment laboratory in Winnipeg (Manitoba),1980-1997
  • Member of the Executive Committee, United States Animal Health Association, 1990-2000
  • Manager of the Year Award, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada,1996
  • Invited Speaker, Presentations in Argentina, New Zealand, USA, Brazil, and Canada on the role of the OIE, 1997-2000
  • Invited Speaker, Presented the keynote address at the Annual Meeting of the United States Animal Health Association, 1998
  • Developed a process and wrote a strategic plan for the future direction of the OIE in the 2001-2005 period, 1998-2000
  • Conceived, recommended and implemented a unique management approach for the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health, Winnipeg (Manitoba), 1999
  • Chairperson: International Workshop on Animal Disposal Alternatives (IWADA), Winnipeg (Manitoba), 2000
  • Chairperson: International Working Group on Animal Disposal Alternatives (IWADA), Ottawa (Ontario), 2002
  • Invited to serve as Senior Statesman evaluating the International Forum on the International Aspects of Accidental Release or Deliberate Use of Biological Agents Affecting Food and Agriculture hosted by Texas A&M University Systems’s Integrative Center for Homeland Security, 2003
  • Invited to make a feature presentation on carcass disposal at the 23rd Conference of the OIE Regional Commission for Asia, the Far East and Oceania held at Noumea (New Caledonia), 2003
  • Acted as Senior Technical Advisor to the Minister of Agriculture and Agrifood conducting consultations with government officials, industry representatives and the public in Asian countries on Canadian policies for BSE, 2004
  • Participated in the development of General Guidelines for the Disposal of Carcasses for the OIE, Paris (France), 2004
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
  • Served on the Board of Directors for the Association of Community Living, Carleton Place (Ontario)
  • Served as paddling coach with the Carleton Place Canoe Club - Carleton Place (Ontario)
  • Served as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Biathlon Association of Manitoba, Winnipeg (Manitoba)
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