Dr David Graham has been appointed as chief executive officer (CEO) of Animal Health Ireland (AHI), replacing Joe O’Flaherty.

Dr Graham currently holds the role of deputy CEO and programme manager for biosecure diseases including the BVD programme. He joined AHI in 2010.

He qualified from UCD as a veterinary surgeon in 1988. After working as a house surgeon at the Veterinary School in Dublin, he moved back to Northern Ireland, where he spent several years in mixed large animal practice.

He has also worked for Northern Ireland’s department of agriculture.

He received his PhD in 1998 on improved methods for diagnosing bovine respiratory disease from Queen’s University Belfast, and in 2007 he established, and has subsequently led, a cattle health scheme offering monitoring, eradication and accreditation programmes for BVD, IBR, Johnes and leptospirosis.

Mike Magan, chairman of the AHI, said: "The board was delighted with the standard of applicants and the keen interest shown by Dr Graham and other individuals in contention for the the position of chief executive.

"I, and the board, look forward to working with David, as AHI enters a new phase of delivery across a broader range of activities."

Magan paid tribute to Joe O’Flaherty "for his guidance, leadership and dedication in establishing and developing AHI to be a significant and important organisation in Irish agriculture", and he wished him well in the next phase of his professional career.

Outgoing CEO

The outgoing CEO, Joe O’Flaherty, graduated from the veterinary college of Ireland in 1986, and worked in mixed practices in Ireland, England and Wales, before joining the Department of Agriculture as a veterinary inspector in 1992.

He has held the post of CEO of Animal Health Ireland in a full-time capacity since September 2009.