Meet the Board of Directors

Public Health Veterinarian Representative

Angela McIntyre DVM, TUS 1997

Dr. McIntyre is a 1997 graduate of Tuskegee University, School of Veterinary Medicine. She started in the Federal community during the summer of her sophomore year of veterinary college. She worked with the USDA, APHIS,VS where she earned hands on experience with eradicating Brucellosis in cattle and Pseudorabies in swine in the state of Georgia. Also during that time with USDA, APHIS, she worked with veterinarians during the 1996 Summer Olympics where she was a part of the Piroplasmosis and Equine Contagious Metritis Surveillance Team for the carrier horses that were brought to the U. S. for competition.

Dr. McIntyre started working for the USDA, FSIS, OFO after graduating from veterinary college. She has 21 years of knowledge and experience serving in several different roles that she believes will aid in meeting the mission of NAFV.

“Knowing the history of veterinarians in the federal sector and seeing first hand the important roles veterinarians have in the safety and security of our nation’s health and food supply has afforded me an appreciation for what we have done and still do today. Our roles are filled with hard work and complex challenges each day.”

At any time, Dr. McIntyre believes these positions are under appreciated, under served, taken for granted, etc., she intends to be a voice  and a strong advocate to make what’s crooked straight. Serving as a board member has put her in a better position to do so.

Public Health Veterinarian Representative

Michael Mikhaiel, DVM, MPH, UAE 1978 (PHV Representative) 

Dr. Mikhaiel’s career in Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) began more than twenty nine years ago in California. He was SPHV assigned to various red meat and poultry plants in Fresno and Hanford in California. Currently, he is a SPHV in Woodland Washington, Portland Circuit and Denver District Office.

Dr. Mikhaiel was Front-line Supervisor (FLS) in Lexington, KY in 2005, then FLS in Fresno, CA from 2005 to 2007. He has also acted as FLS for Hanford Circuit for three months. Dr. Mikhaiel is trained as an EIAO PHV and performed Food Safety Assessments (FSA) and has conducted many recalls at various area / sites in California. He is a PHV mentor for the Denver District and I was a PHV mentor trainer for Alameda District. He considers himself to be privileged and honored to have trained many newly hired PHVs in poultry and red meat in Alameda and in red meat in Denver District.

Dr. Mikhaiel has served as an NAFV representative for the Alameda District for the past 28 years and currently the NAFV representative for the Denver District. He has enthusiastically assisted and supported his fellow veterinarians in California. During his service, he has actively assisted our General Counsel in several cases to resolve issues and disputes affecting our colleagues.

“I believe that we as public health veterinarians should be recognized by our agency as great resources and highly instrumental in accomplishing our agency missions and protecting the public health of our nation. I also believe that our issues and concerns should be addressed in a logical and professional manner.”

Public Health Veterinarian Alternate Representative

Ahmad Jilani, DVM, PUN 1965 (PHV Alternate-Representative) 

Dr. Jilani started working with Pakistan Government in 1966. He worked there for 4 years and transferred to London, England to obtain a Master’s degree. He came to the US in 1974 and worked in Microbiological / pathology Labs in two large hospitals in New York until he joined USDA. 

Dr. Jilani came to this country with lots of hopes and looking for opportunities for future as does every immigrant. Dr Jilani came with his DVM degree from University of Punjab, Pakistan and was hoping to start a new life with US Department of Agriculture. He joined the USDA/ FSIS in 1986 as a caretaker of public health. He started his career from Texas in red meat inspection and within few years he moved to Boston, Massachusetts. He was working with all species of animals, covering 12 plants in New England area, consisting of 6 states. After spending about six years there, he moved to Eastern Shore of Maryland and worked in Delaware and Maryland in large poultry plants. He is still assigned there now. 

My aims & objectives are to increase the member-ship as much as possible and for that I approach new hires and convince them to be member of this great association. I have been a top recruiter for NAFV, to combine efforts for upgrading the status of field veterinarians that only can be achieved if we unite and strengthen NAFV, improve the enjoinment and condition of employment, opportunities to continuous education, recognition of professional and scientific experts. I will take your voice and would be honored to serve you as member of NAFV Board of Directors for coming years. Please send your ballot with the check mark next to my name.”

Public Health Veterinarian Alternate Representative

David Thompson, DVM, LSU 1989

Dr. Thompson has enjoyed many career paths in Veterinary Medicine and feels he can represent the Public Health and Public Servant quadrants of Veterinary Medicine with ample experience and knowledge to have a fulfilling career in these venues. He fully support the “corporateness” that NAFV brings to Federal Veterinary Medicine and how it is the “one voice” that keeps the mission in front and veterinarians engaged. “I have been an NAFV member for 29 years and NAFV Local Chapter Officer for 10 Plus years. The next step as a board member would be to represent the multiple facets of Veterinary Medicine in Federal Service.”

Dr. Vermeersch’s goals for NAFV are: to increase membership in NAFV, collaborate with federal agencies to promote veterinarians, and to increase veterinary input into agency management and policy decisions.  He has provided suggestions and advice on NAFV activities for several years.  He also served a 13 month detail to USDA Foreign Agricultural Service as an Agricultural Advisor in Kunar and Nangarhar from Dec. 2009 to January 2011 in support of the President’s Agricultural Strategy for Afghanistan.

Veterinary Medical Officer Representative

Gary Brickler, DVM, PUR 1975 

Dr. Gary Brickler is currently the District 6 Director for USDA/ APHIS/ Veterinary Services, a district comprised of the 10 Western states and Pacific Territories. Previously, he was the Area Veterinarian in Charge for California, Hawaii and Nevada and prior to that the AVIC for Washington and Alaska.

He received a B.S. from the University of Kentucky and a D.V.M. from Purdue University. Prior to joining the USDA, Dr. Brickler served three years on active duty with the Army and practiced large animal medicine in Colorado for five years. With USDA he has held positions with FSIS and APHIS Veterinary Services, International Services and Animal Care.

Dr. Brickler continued his military career, serving 30 years in the Army Reserve, including command of the 109th Medical Detachment during deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal in 2003 during operations in Iraq.

Dr. Brickler is a 35+ year member of the NAFV and through personal experience greatly appreciates the value of the Association to all federal veterinarians and the profession as a whole.  He served as President of the NAFV in 2011 and 2012 and has been involved in Association activities since as a member of the Board of Directors.  Dr. Brickler is pleased to continue serving the Association members as a NAFV Director.  Among the many significant roles of the NAFV, he will particularly work within the Association to advance the veterinary leaders of the future.

“I believe that we as public health veterinarians should be recognized by our agency as great resources and highly instrumental in accomplishing our agency missions and protecting the public health of our nation. I also believe that our issues and concerns should be addressed in a logical and professional manner.”

Veterinary Medical Officer Representative

Bob Simer, DVM, ILL 1989 

Dr. Simer is a graduate of the University of Illinois, 1989, and is currently a Supervisory Regulatory Veterinary Medical Officer in Waco, TX. Dr. Simer began his federal career as a SPHV for FSIS in 2006, where he eventually became an IIC, before transitioning to VS in 2014. He has served as Temp. Acting Assistant Director of Texas, Planning Chief for Indiana Avian Influenza Incident in 2016, and Deputy Planning Chief on National Incident Management Team Indigo, among other duties.

Dr. Simer is currently serving as NAFV-APHIS coordinator for Texas, and is pleased to now hold a seat as an APHIS representative on the NAFV BOD in the hopes of utilizing his experience in finance and statistics, combined with his passion for the federal veterinary profession.

Previously, he was the Area Veterinarian in Charge for California, Hawaii and Nevada and prior to that the AVIC for Washington and Alaska.  

VMO Alternate-Representative

David Hsi, DVM, MPH, UF 2014 

Dr. David Hsi is a VMO/ epidemiologist with USDA APHIS VS STAS CEAH SDA and is serving his second term as an alternate APHIS Representative. He received my DVM and MPH from the University of Florida in 2014 and while in school was a Pathways intern with USDA FSIS OPHS.  After graduating, he joined FSIS OFO as an SPHV before transferring to his current position.  

When still l in vet school and interning with USDA,  Dr. Hsi was fortunate enough to be introduced to NAFV and its mission.  At the time, and even more-so now, I recognized that it is vitally important to have, and be a part of, an organization like NAFV that truly advocates for the needs of federal veterinarians and works to resolve major workforce issues that may arise.

Accordingly, he is eager to continue to serve in this current capacity in order to help provide an avenue for issues to be heard, and addressed, and ultimately work to help ensure a positive work environment for both himself and his colleagues.

VMO Alternate-Representative)

Stephan Schaefbauer, DVM, UG 2006 

Dr. Stephan Schaefbauer obtained her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia in 2006. Following conferment of her DVM she attended the University of Minnesota to pursue a masters of public health degree and a public health residency at the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety. Near the end of her program, Dr. Schaefbauer started working with USDA-APHIS as a veterinary medical officer based in St. Paul. Later she served as an Import Risk Analyst in the National Center for Import and Export. She began working as an Epidemiology Officer in 2010 in Raleigh, NC for four years and held a similar position in Des Moines, Iowa for two years. In 2014, Dr. Schaefbauer’s dedication to public service was recognized when she was presented with the APHIS Women of Character, Courage and Commitment Award. Dr. Schaefbauer currently serves as Assistant Director for Veterinary Services where she oversees field operations in Minnesota. 

Dr. Schaefbauer is currently serving her second term on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Federal Veterinarians. Some of her past leadership positions include serving as President of the American Association of Food Safety Veterinarians, Vice President of Education for the Centennial Toastmasters, and serving on the AVMA Diversity Taskforce, the AVMA 20/20 Commission and AVMA’s Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine. She also served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Other/Non-USDA Representative

John Sanders, DVM, DACVPM, TEN 1985  

John P. Sanders Jr. DVM, DACVPM is a federal public health veterinarian with over 30 years of Federal service across several federal agencies and departments. He has seen changes in the responsibilities and expectation of Veterinarians in the public sector during my career.

In 1987, when he started with FSIS, Dr. Sanders was introduced to NAFV during, training, and joined at that time. Over his career, he has seen NAFV support veterinarians in Southeast Alabama in dealing with plant management and a very active union. He continued my membership when he transferred to APHIS in 1991, and then when he went to FDA in 1999, and later DHS in 2007. In addition to supporting veterinarians, NAFV has reestablished the consultation process with APHIS and FSIS. NAFV has also successfully addressed several concerns that have put forward by its members including safety concerns about foreign assignments, adverse actions, and non-veterinarians reversing professional determination.

“I appreciate my past opportunities in serving NAFV in various positions on the executive board and being secretary treasurer. I look forward to continuing to serve NAFV and my fellow veterinarians.” 

Dr. Sanders is currently also on the AVMA Convention Education Program Committee, managing Professional development section, and is Assistant Chair of Food and Feed Safety USAHA committee.

Other/Non-USDA Alternate-Representative

Patty Bennett, DVM, UF 1993 

Dr. Bennett worked in FSIS for almost 13 years and over last few years, and has been actively involved in initiatives to recruit and retain PHVs in FSIS. Specifically, she led the development of a survey asking FSIS PHVs about the positive and negative aspects of working for FSIS, and also oversaw a workgroup composed of field PHVs to develop and implement initiatives to drive recruitment and retention initiatives. Some of those projects include providing Continuing Education opportunities and creating work life balance initiatives. She have also been actively working with veterinary students to encourage them to consider a career in federal service. She has worked with students to setup internships for them in FSIS, with her personally or other areas in FSIS headquarters or field.

Dr. Bennett led the establishment of a veterinary student scholarship providing $15,000/year in exchange for the new graduates working for FSIS to fill much needed positions in the field. In the three years of offering the scholarship, FSIS recruited 50 students. What began as a pilot initiative is now part of the student employment program within the Office of Management.

Very recently Dr. Bennett became a director within the Agricultural Marketing Service – a position that does not fit the traditional trajectory of a veterinary career. She looks forward to demonstrating how veterinarians can lead in Agencies where veterinarians are not well represented. Federal service is a worthy professional choice for veterinarians and she is honored to serve another board term to continue promoting federal opportunities to colleagues.ere.

Military Representative

MAJ Taylor Opel, DVM, WSU 2008 

MAJ Opel is honored to accept the seat as US Army board member for the NAFV Board of Directors. She hopes to promote the public health mission of the Armed Forces and build cooperation between Federal agencies. As a Public Health Veterinary Officer in the Army, her primary goals are to promote food safety and biosecurity as well as aid in the prevention of zoonotic diseases in our military community. In addition, she provides guidance in creating the foundations to integrate Human Animal Bond programs into military service member wellness programs. “I make it my mission every chance I get to educate and promote the field of veterinary public health.”

She is hoing to use use this opportunity for collaboration to better understand the unique interconnectivity that we as Federal veterinary professionals have with human, animal and environmental health, the One Health concept. “As a member of the military, I am in a unique position to work with numerous healthcare professionals and food production facilities all over the world to expand the general awareness and importance of public health doctrines. My military experiences have exposed me to a wide range of public health disciplines, which I will use to give real world context in my position on the Board.   I hope to serve as an advisor on military veterinary specific topics and issues, and bring a unique perspective to the Board.”