Dean's Leadership Council

The Dean's Leadership Council is a unique forum for dialog and advice about the school, the veterinary profession and all animal species. The council advises the dean on initiatives designed to fulfill our teaching, research and service mission. Members demonstrate concern for animals and a commitment to progress in veterinary medicine. These informed advocates also serve as liaisons with other outside individuals and groups.

James E. Brown, DVM

James BrownJames E. Brown, DVM, co-founded DURECT in 1998 and has served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director since June of that year. DURECT is a publicly-traded specialty pharmaceutical company with two late-stage products in development. The first of these is REMOXY®, an abuse-deterrent formulation of oxycodone for the treatment of chronic pain, in development by Pfizer. The second is POSIDUR™ a controlled release formulation of bupivacaine for the treatment of post-operative pain. DURECT has a number of earlier stage programs as well as two commercial product lines, the ALZET® osmotic mini-pump and LACTEL® Absorbable Polymers.

Prior to founding DURECT, Dr. Brown worked at ALZA Corporation as Vice President of Biopharmaceutical and Implant Research and Development. Before working at ALZA, Dr. Brown held various positions at Syntex Corporation including Director of Business Development, Director of Joint Ventures for Discovery Research, and Program Director for Syntex Research and Development. He began his career in the biopharmaceutical industry working at SYVA, a medical diagnostics company. He has served on a number of boards including St. Francis High School in Mountain View, California.

Dr. Brown holds a B.A. from San Jose State University and a DVM from the University of California, Davis.

Katherine Harvey Burr

Katherine BurrKatherine Harvey Burr is the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of the Harvey Family Office, working through Denver, CO-based Odyssey Management, LLC and Pt Richmond, CA-based Loja Group LLC to manage a several hundred million dollar portfolio of bonds, commercial real estate, and private equity. Katherine is also the Chief Investment Officer of the Hugh and Michelle Harvey Family Foundation, based in Denver, CO. The Harvey Family Office and the Harvey Family Foundation were established in 2008, the result of the April, 2008 IPO of Denver, CO-based Intrepid Potash, Inc. (NYSE IPI). Hugh Harvey, Jr. is one of the two founders of Intrepid Potash. Katherine is Hugh's sister.

Prior to the founding of the Harvey Family Office and Foundation, Katherine was a Director (1989-1992), EVP (1989-1991), President/CEO (1992-2002), and Chairman (1993-2011) of Hanseatic Group, Inc., a top performing SEC and CFTC-registered quantitative fund manager in Albuquerque, NM that uses pattern recognition to trade securities, derivatives, and currencies for global institutional investors. Katherine directed strategy, operations, and marketing at the Hanseatic companies. Katherine has a B.A in Modern Languages from Colorado State University (1970) and an M.A., in Anthropology (all four areas: archeology, biological, cultural, and linguistics) from the University of New Mexico (1973) where she was a National Science Foundation Fellow (1972-1974) and a Ph.D. candidate, using complex adaptive systems to model language and the brain. Katherine also holds an MBA from the University of New Mexico (1989), specializing in using complex adaptive systems to model organizations and markets.

Thomas W. Campi, DVM, MPVM

Tom Campi Tom Campi received his DVM and MPVM degrees from UC Davis in 1989. He is also board certified by the American College of Poultry Veterinarians. Dr. Campi works for Elanco Animal Health and has held various positions for the past 25 years.

His career path includes roles in poultry technical consulting, regulatory affairs in the US and Western Europe, and technology acquisitions. In the acquisitions role, he was responsible for leading a team of scientists who evaluate medical breakthroughs for their use in preventing and treating important animal diseases.

Tom’s newest role is Director of External Innovation where he is responsible for creating new business models for bridging technology with funding in order to satisfy the growing need for novel medicines for both food and companion animals. Dr. Campi resides in Indiana with his wife of 27 years, his 3 children and a dog, a cat and a ferret (and yes, they are legal pets in Indiana!).

Ron Foster

Ron FosterRon Foster retired as CEO of Foster Farms in 2016. For more than 75 years, the Foster family has been providing premium Dairy and Poultry products to local consumers. Foster Farms remains a family-owned business managed in the tradition of sincerity and premium quality that Max and Verda Foster envisioned back in 1939.

Ron is a 1981 graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Business. He currently serves on several agricultural, nonprofit, and business boards, and currently co-chairs the Dean's Leadership Council.

John Klacking, Ph.D.

John KlackingJohn Klacking is a Senior Vice President of Salomon Smith Barney, a member of the firm's Directors Council, Consulting Group and is a Registered Investment Advisor. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California - Davis, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Nevada, where he was an Allie M. Lee Fellow.

John was named one of Nevada's ten top financial consultants by Nevada Business Magazine. He manages several significant investment banking and asset management relationships with major corporate clients. On behalf of his clients, John has assisted in the management of complex multi-million dollar corporate finance transactions including public stock offerings and debt placement.

He is also the founder and chairman of NEL Laboratories. NEL Laboratories is an environmental analytical laboratory specializing in the analysis of organic and inorganic compounds. Clients include major federal and municipal agencies, Fortune 500 corporations, as well as leading consulting engineering firms. NEL has facilities in Nevada, California, Arizona and Idaho.

Further, John is the Founder and Chairman of Concord Sierra Restaurants. Concord Sierra holds the area development rights for Round Table Pizza in Las Vegas, Phoenix and Albuquerque. In addition, John currently serves on the Board of Directors of several corporations.

Barbara J. Kerr

Barbara J. KerrBarbara Kerr has spent her career building and developing Human Resources functions. Her experience spans four industries including retail, telecommunications, financial services and life sciences. For the last 20 years she was involved in biotechnology and life sciences, most recently as Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Applera Corporation, a company supplying technology and information for life sciences and related businesses. Her areas of expertise include executive and board compensation, organizational design and re-structuring and acquisition integration.

Barbara is a lifelong animal lover. She supports a number of organizations committed to animal health, well being and preservation.

Michael D. Lairmore, DVM, Ph.D.

Michael D. Lairmore, DVM, PhDDean Michael Lairmore oversees all School of Veterinary Medicine teaching, research and service activities, personnel, facilities and funding resources. He presides over six academic departments, the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System, the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center in Tulare, Veterinary Medicine Extension, and numerous centers of excellence.

Dean Lairmore is committed to finding new ways for the faculty, residents, students and staff of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine to contribute to the health of animals and people while being good stewards of the environment and the economy of California. His goals include building mission-focused programs that will continue to provide outstanding education for society-ready veterinarians and produce innovative research findings to address important problems ranging from clinical veterinary medicine to public health.

Upon his arrival at UC Davis in 2011, Dean Lairmore led the school on a strategic planning process to enhance current units and add important new programs in faculty, staff, and student development. He brought in new leadership, expanded student services infrastructure, and enhanced communication, marketing, and development activities, which have led the school to be named by QS World Rankings as the #1 institution in the world in veterinary sciences four years in a row, beginning with the inaugural ranking in 2015. The school also currently ranks as #1 among veterinary schools/colleges by US News and World Report. 

Through Dean Lairmore’s leadership, the school has created major advances in student diversity and expanded the number of women in leadership positions. Since 2011, he has guided the school to three record fundraising years, including $85 million in 2017-18. He is currently leading the largest capital campaign effort in the history of the school to complete a masterplan that includes a new Veterinary Medical Center.

Dean Lairmore earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia before working as a dairy and small animal veterinarian. Following private practice, he completed a residency and Ph.D. program in experimental pathology at Colorado State University at Fort Collins. He is board certified in veterinary anatomic pathology as well as veterinary virology and immunology. He is a member of numerous prestigious national boards and committees, is one of the few veterinarians elected as a Member of the National Academy of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences. He is also a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and has received numerous teaching and research awards throughout his career. Dean Lairmore is a scientist who bridges multiple disciplines to address basic questions related to viral causes of cancer. His research has provided significant breakthroughs in the biology of human retroviruses and the understanding of viral-associated carcinogenesis. He has authored or co-authored 190 scientific publications.

Marcia Messmer

Marcia MessnerA native of Kansas City, Marcia Messmer attended the Barstow School and received her B.A. from Scripps College in Claremont, California. She has a background as a corporate legal assistant and has a long history of volunteerism in the arts and sciences, including the San Francisco Opera Guild, Achievement Rewards for College Scientists and the Junior League.

Marcia owns and operates the Guinea Pig Calendar Company, a small business through which she creates and sells guinea pig themed calendars and greeting cards. As a lifelong animal lover and former equestrian, Marcia has been a client and supporter of the CAPE Service for over 15 years. She raises guinea pigs and resides in Woodside, California with her husband, Max.

Jan Miller Rich

Jan MillerJan Miller Rich is the founder and CEO of Dupree/Miller & Associates, a premier literary agency representing blockbuster authors, innovators and brands across all genres. She has been called “a supernova in a galaxy of literary agents.” As founder and CEO of one of the top literary agencies in the country, Dupree/Miller & Associates, she has used her unwavering instincts to yield thousands of international bestsellers across all genres. Her success has made Dupree/Miller a driving force in the publishing industry—an agency that represents blockbuster authors, innovators, and brands across all genres.

She is an activist for education and human rights which she considers her greatest life work. She and her husband, Jeff Rich, have sponsored dozens of educational scholarships and financed a library in South Africa for The Wilson Foundation. For more than a decade, they have raised millions of dollars for Best Buddies International which is dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement creating opportunities for one-to-one friendships for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Jan currently serves on the board of SMU Tate Lecture Series, The World Affairs Council, The Dr. Phil Foundation and The Shriver Report.

Alison P. Pillsbury, DVM

Dr. Alison Park PillsburyAlison Pillsbury graduated from the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, in 1988. Since graduating she has practiced within the private sector, recently selling her small animal practice, Foothill Veterinary Clinic, which she owned and operated for 13 years. She is currently practicing at Jackson Creek Veterinary Clinic.

During her veterinary career Dr. Pillsbury has been an animal welfare advocate, pursuing community based programs. She volunteers as an adjunct veterinarian for Tri County Wildlife Care and the Amador County Animal Control; is a board member of the Amador County Rabies Task Force, and is currently a director of the Amador County Chamber of Commerce. In 2004, Dr. Pillsbury was awarded the prestigious Golden Nugget Award, given yearly to local unsung heroes for their involvement in government and public service. She volunteered in Mississippi after Katrina and she speaks regularly in local schools at all levels to educate children in the animal welfare arena.

Dr. Pillsbury has established scholarships in her mother's name, such as the Frances Park Pillsbury Memorial Scholarship for the School of Veterinary Medicine, Davis.

Jerry Rosenthal

Jerry RosenthalJerry Rosenthal is Executive Director of the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation in New York. He currently serves on the State Council for HSUS and the board of El Faro de los Animales (Puerto Rico) and is a past member of the board of the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to becoming involved in the non-profit side of animal health and welfare, Jerry spent 25 years in the financial services industry holding a number of senior marketing, lending and administrative roles.

Jerry graduated from Haverford College with a B.A. in History and holds a MBA from Columbia University. A native of the Bay Area, he currently resides with his family in Little Silver, New Jersey.

Eve Lloyd Thompson

Eve Lloyd ThompsonEve Lloyd Thompson is President and a Trustee of the Bernice Barbour Foundation, Inc. A graduate of Cornell University majoring in Zoology, she served as Executive Director of the Washington International Horse Show, and a Color Commentator for Horse Sports for HTS-FOX in Washington.

A former President of the Maryland Horse Shows Association, she served as Secretary of the American Horse Shows Association (AHSA), Chairman of the AHSA Hearing and Planning Committees; and was a Member of the American Horse Council’s Animal Welfare Task Force. For the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta she was a member of the F.E.I. Judicial Committee. She currently competes in Dressage.

Barbara A. Wolfe

Barbara A. WolfeBarbara Wolfe is a former executive from the financial services sector where she had an extensive career. For 16 years, Ms. Wolfe was the Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. responsible for the Legal, Compliance, Human Resources, Branch Development and Facilities functions. Prior to joining Schwab, Ms. Wolfe held management positions with Stanford Research Institute, Bank of California, and other Bay Area financial institutions.

Barbara graduated from Mills College with a BA in Economics, Political Science and Philosophy and she is currently serving her third term as a Trustee of Mills College. She is a member of the Mills College Executive Committee, Chairman of the Committee on Trustees and is also a member of the Finance, Investment, Audit, Major Gifts and Facilities Committees.

Through their private foundation and personally, Barbara and Tom Wolfe support educational programs and scholarships at primary and secondary schools to Graduate Programs at Mills College and the University of Buffalo Law School. They also support the University of California, San Francisco UCSF Foundation, the San Francisco Opera, St. Anthony's Foundation, Doctors Without Borders, and many Bay Area Animal Welfare Organizations.

William Ziegler, M.A., Ph.D.

William ZieglerWilliam Ziegler is trustee of the Arques Charitable Education Trust, which was established by the Arques family from Sausalito, California, to provide loans or grants to pay for the educational expenses and support of qualified students while studying, among other areas, in the field of veterinary medicine. As owners of ranch property in Napa County, the Arques family became concerned with animal care, and Verna Arques established the trust to provide scholarships for students in the area.

Mr. Ziegler currently is a member of the law firm of Seiler, Epstein, Ziegler and Applegate in San Francisco and specializes in the fields of land use and real estate finance. He is a graduate of Yale Law School and holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in political philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. He represents other trusts, foundations and non-profit entities, and has been active in Marin County politics.

Lin Zucconi, M.S., Ph.D.

Lin ZucconiLin Zucconi is a retired software and systems engineer. Her most recent position was Program Leader for Software and Systems Engineering research at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Canberra Australia. Prior to this she was Director of the Software Technology Center at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. She has been adjunct, visiting and regular faculty at universities in the USA, China and Australia. Lin was also a Distinguished Lecturer for the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) for both the North American and the Asia-Pacific regions. Lin has also served as a member of and chaired various technical committees and working groups for the IEEE, the US Dept. of Energy, and the Australian Computer Society (ACS). While in Australia she founded the Australian Software Process Improvement Network and chaired the 1997 Australian Software Engineering Conference.

Since retiring Lin has volunteered with the North Lake Tahoe Boys and Girls Club where she lead a STEM program for elementary school age children. She has also volunteered with the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe and with the Society of Women Engineers student chapter at the University of Nevada in Reno. She currently volunteers with the Emergency Warming Shelter in Truckee which serves the homeless population and stranded motorists in Truckee/North Tahoe during extreme weather conditions. She is an advocate for feline health and medicine which she supports at UC Davis Veterinary Medicine and through various cat rescue organizations in California and nationally.

Lin holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science from Rice University, an M.S. in Applied Science/Engineering from UC Davis and a Bachelor's degree with Honors in Mathematics from UC Berkeley.