The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has appointed Dr Keith Sumption, Chief Veterinary Officer of Animal Production and Health Division (AGA), at FAO Headquarters, Rome, effective 1 June 2020.
Dr Sumption holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from the University of Reading, gained following 3 years of field and molecular epidemiology research upon African Swine Fever in southern Africa, and veterinary medicine (Vet.MB) and Natural Sciences degrees from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
Since September 2002, Dr Sumption has served as Executive Secretary of the FAO based European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (EuFMD), where he has been responsible for developing strategy, negotiating funding and managing implementation of the Commission’s work programmes, which now involve over 80 countries, and reports to the member states of the Commission and FAO Regional Conference and Department (AGD). Under his leadership, the Progressive Control Pathway (PCP) for FMD was developed. This has now become the template for many of major global initiatives that have the objective of assisting countries to put in place sustainable control and management programmes for transboundary and zoonotic diseases. In recent years, he has led the rapid expansion of the online training programme to become the largest of its kind in the world, with trainees from around 100 countries.
Prior to FAO, Dr Sumption was a research group leader and Master’s programme Coordinator at the Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine (CTVM), University of Edinburgh for 12 years, managing projects on African high impact tick borne and contagious diseases including heartwater , theilerioses, mycoplasmoses (CBPP and CCPP), and viral TADS (rinderpest , PPR and sheep and goat pox) and as a seconded technical officer to the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), led work to define demand and impact of research at the primary animal health care level in Kenya, for almost 2 years.
Dr Sumption brings with him, his multidisciplinary background , over 30 years experience in working with veterinary services in various continents, his managerial and leadership competencies as well as his strong knowledge of FAO and commitment to its programmes.