Chief Veterinary Officer, Chief Food Safety Officer and Chief Plant Health Officer for Canada
Canada has a strong food safety system founded on sound science and aligned with international standards.
The Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) 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.
The Chief Food Safety Officer (CFSO) plays a key role in ensuring our food safety activities benefit from the latest science and continue to contribute to the health of Canadians and to Canada's overall economic performance.
The Chief Plant Health Officer (CPHO) plays a key leadership role in the policies related to plant health in Canada at the domestic and international level.
Chief Veterinary Officer / Delegate to the World Organisation for Animal Health
Dr. Harpreet S. Kochhar was appointed Canada’s delegate to the World Organisation for Animal Health in February 2017. He is the Associate Vice-President, Operations and the Chief Veterinary Officer for Canada. Dr. Kochhar joined the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in 2002 as a Senior Animal Biotechnology Policy Specialist.
He has since held a number of senior-level positions within the CFIA, including Executive Director of the Animal Health Directorate, Executive Director of Operations Strategies and Delivery, and Executive Director of Western Area Operations.
Dr. Kochhar joined the CFIA from the University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College where he had been an assistant professor with research interests in animal biotechnology. He also worked as a veterinarian in private practice prior to joining the CFIA.
Dr. Kochhar is a veterinarian by training with a Master's degree in Veterinary Science and a Doctorate (Ph.D.) in biotechnology. He is an expert on animal biotechnology for the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and has worked internationally with such organizations as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
As Chief Veterinary Officer and Canadian delegate to the World Organisation for Animal Health, Dr. Kochhar leads Canada's efforts 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.
Chief Food Safety Officer for Canada
Barbara Jordan was appointed to the position of Associate Vice President, Policy and Programs Branch, at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in November 2014. She is responsible for leading the development of policies and regulatory programs to support the CFIA's mandate relating to food safety, plant protection, and animal health.
In January 2016, Ms. Jordan was appointed Chief Risk Executive for the CFIA. She serves as the principal advisor on the effective application and integration of risk management.
In February 2017, Ms. Jordan was asked to take on the additional role of Chief Food Safety Officer for Canada. The Chief Food Safety Officer plays a key role in ensuring food safety activities benefit from the latest science and continue to contribute to the health of Canadians and Canada's economy.
Chief Plant Health Officer
Darlene Blair, Director of the CFIA's Plant Protection Division, was appointed Chief Plant Health Officer for the CFIA in November 2015.
Ms. Blair has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture and a Master of Science degree in Crop Physiology, both from the University of Guelph. She joined the CFIA from Agriculture and Agri-food Canada when the CFIA was formed in 1997. During her career with the CFIA, Ms. Blair has served as National Manager of the Fertilizer Section, Director of the Ontario Plant Program Network, Director of Policy Research Division, Director of Program Policy Integration Division, and Director of the Plant Production Division (which has included the Seed, Fertilizer, Plant Biosafety, Plant Breeders' Rights, and Grains and Oilseeds programs). This varied experience, with its focus on building strong relationships and responsive programs, has prepared Ms. Blair well for her current role.
In her role as Chief Plant Health Officer, Ms. Blair is responsible for domestic and import policies related to the protection of plants, crops and forests from regulated pests and diseases, and for export-related plant health policies.
Ms. Blair 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.
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