New AFBI chief executive announced

Dr Stanley McDowell, who will take up appointment as AFBI chief executive on September 3rd 2018
Dr Stanley McDowell, who will take up appointment as AFBI chief executive on September 3rd 2018

The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute has announced the appointment of Dr Stanley McDowell as chief executive, with effect from September 3rd 2018.

Dr McDowell has been director of AFBI’s Veterinary Sciences Division since February 2013.

In welcoming Dr McDowell to the post, Mr Colm McKenna, chair of the AFBI board stated: “I and the board are delighted that Stanley McDowell has accepted the position of CEO of the Agri-Food and Bioscience Institute. Stanley has been an important part of the senior management team over the last five years and has made a significant contribution. He is particularly well placed to lead the organisation on the next stage of the journey in delivering our new corporate plan.”

Dr McDowell said: “I am very pleased to be appointed as chief executive of AFBI and look forward to the challenge of leading the institute as it moves forward in its role of supporting DAERA and the agri-food industry through our various programmes of scientific work. AFBI plays a key role in improving agricultural production, protecting the agricultural and marine environments, and ensuring high standards of animal health, plant health and food safety and I look forward to working with staff and stakeholders as we look to invest in and develop our infrastructure and multidisciplinary scientific capability to meet the many global and local challenges that the agri-food sector faces.”

Dr McDowell graduated in veterinary medicine from the University of Edinburgh in 1987. After a period in general practice and in the Veterinary Service of the then Department of Agriculture, he joined Veterinary Sciences Division as a veterinary research officer in 1990.

Between 1990 and 2010 he worked across a spectrum of animal disease surveillance, statutory and research work areas and was responsible for leading statutory and analytical work on a number of bacterial and zoonotic infections.

His research interests have included the control of food-borne pathogens such as Salmonella and Campylobacter, antimicrobial resistance, brucellosis and bovine Tuberculosis. He has an MSc in Epidemiology from the University of London, the jointly awarded post-graduate diploma of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a PhD for studies on the epidemiology of Salmonella and Campylobacter in production animals.

In October 2010, he was appointed as a senior veterinary research officer and head of the bacteriology branch, with responsibility for a programme of statutory, analytical and research work on the major veterinary bacterial diseases including bovine tuberculosis, brucellosis, paratuberculosis, and the food-borne zoonoses. He was promoted in February 2013 to director of VSD and over the last five years has led the work of the division across a wide range of animal health and food safety issues.