WHO WE ARE
The WSAVA Foundation is led by a group of veterinary experts and scholars with a wide range of experience in animal healthcare. Through their efforts, the WSAVA Foundation has become a growing organisation with a global reputation for successful animal advocacy.
Dr. Gabriel Varga, President
Dr. Varga began his career mid 1980’s working in a clinical setting before shifting his efforts to academics, teaching in the small animal clinic, and conducting experimental work at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Košice, Slovakia. After also working in a leadership role at the University for another six years, Dr. Varga built and owned a national pharmaceutical distributor, which was sold at later stage to a major investor.
Since 1998, when he joined the Board of the WSAVA, Dr. Varga focussed on the development of continuing education activities globally, opening new countries for CE as well as assisting them to join the WSAVA in East Europe, Asia and Latin America.
The following years he held different technical and business positions for several key international players in the pharmaceutical and pet food industries. Lately he is the Regional Director Africa – SSR for Zoetis.
In addition to the above, he is an active member of the veterinary community, holding board and committee positions for the WSAVA Foundation. As President of the WSAVA Foundation his main focus has been on fund raising activities via creation of Fun(d) Run and other platforms. The proceeds and funds raised have mostly been used to fight rabies, to assist in disaster relief and to support the creation of new small animal associations and activities in Africa under AFSCAN project for which he was a founder in 2013.
In his spare time, Dr. Varga travels the world with his wife Livia, participates in long-distance runs and marathons, and loves to golf.
Dr. Mark Johnston, Vice President
Following a career in equine veterinary medicine at the equine referral practice of Rossdales in Newmarket, Mark obtained his PhD with the “Confidential Enquiry into Perioperative Equine Fatalities”. He moved into veterinary publishing and is CEO of Vetstream, a global provider of Vetlexicon’s digital resources to the veterinary profession. Vetstream is a Global Educational Partner of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association.
He is also a keen beekeeper and Committee Member of the British Bee Veterinary Association; and Chairman of the Trustees of UK based charity “Our Special Friends” which via the Human Animal Bond helps people continue to benefit from animal companionship by providing physical and emotional support during illness, bereavement or other crises.
He also founded The Vets in Mind Alliance – a not for profit which aims to support the mental health and welfare of all members of the veterinary community with triage tools and other resources.”
Dr. Adriana López Quintana, Secretary
After graduating as valedictorian from the Republic Uruguayan University, Dr. López began her career practicing small animal medicine and surgery at her family’s clinic. She is a Professor of Medicine and Surgery at the Veterinary School, St. Clare’s College in Punta del Este, Uruguay, and one of the instructors of the ABC Trauma Course. This program teaches veterinarians safe, reliable methods for assessing and initially managing emergency patients around Latin America. With a special interest in emergency and critical care medicine, Dr. López is the cofounder and Honorary Secretary of the Latin American Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (LAVECCS). During her spare time, she enjoys long-distance running and spending time with her 2 sons, 1 cat, and 6 dogs.
Dr. Laurel Kaddatz, Treasurer
Dr. Laurel Kaddatz earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota and completed a small animal and surgical internship at Cornell University. He has practiced veterinary medicine for over forty years and was voted one of Westchester County’s TopVets multiple times.
His interest and activities in organized veterinary medicine and associations on the local, regional, and national levels began during his student days at the University of Minnesota. In addition to his work in professional associations on the regional level in New York, he is a past president of the New York State Veterinary Medical Society and has been awarded their Veterinarian of the Year and Distinguished Life Service Awards. Dr. Kaddatz served as the New York State Alternate Delegate to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s House of Delegates.
Dr. Kaddatz was active in several AVMA councils and committees and represented the AVMA in the WSAVA’s General Assembly where he was also a member and chair of the Financial Advisory Committee. He received the WSAVA Global Meritorious Award during the General Assembly in Lisbon Portugal.
Committed to professional continuing education for the entire health care team, Dr. Kaddatz is a Past President and Treasurer of the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC).
On a personal note, he enjoys golf, travelling, and photography. He and his wife Jackie enjoy their animal family: Tyler, a Brussels Griffon mix.
Dr. Umesh Karkare, Board Member
Umesh Karkare is a small animal practitioner and owner of the Happy Tails Veterinary Speciality. He is a founding member of the Federation of Asian Small Animal Veterinary Associations and of the Federation of Small Animal Practitioners Associations in India. He sits on several WSAVA Committees and is an active supporter of continuing education (CE) for veterinarians in India.
Dr. Michael Topper, Board Member
Mike Topper is a retired clinical pathologist living on Lake Oconee in Greensboro, GA, USA. Prior to retirement he was the Director, Pathology & Global Clinical Pathology Lead at Merck & Co. Prior to this, he served for 22 years in the US Army Veterinary Corps. He has a long and distinguished career in veterinary pathology and has served as a leader in many veterinary medical organizations. He is a past president of the American Veterinary Medical Association and currently chair of the WSAVA Membership and Nomination Committee.
Dr. Magda Jannasch, Board Member
Dr. Magda is currently busy doing her residency in veterinary anaesthesiology at Valley Farm Animal Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa. She completed her BScAgric Animal Science degree in 2014 before starting her veterinary degree. During her studies she was actively involved in the International Veterinary Students’ Association (IVSA) as well as other local committees at her university and served as the President of the IVSA for the term 2018 to 2019. She completed a small animal rotating internship at the University of Pretoria in 2022 after which she decided to pursue a career in veterinary anaesthesiology.
In her spare time, Dr Magda spends time with her family and her pets. She loves the outdoors and exploring new places equally as much as she enjoys a quiet day indoors with her husband and their 7 pets.
Dr. Colin F. Burrows, Member
A native of Colchester, Essex, England, Dr. Colin F. Burrows is a graduate of the Royal Veterinary College, University of London. Dr. Burrows has been honored to receive multiple awards, including the Scientific Achievement Award from WSAVA and the XIIth International Veterinary Congress prize from the American Veterinary Medical Association for contributions to international veterinary medicine. Dr. Burrows is passionate about education, not only for veterinary students but also for veterinary practitioners, particularly those in developing countries. He has delivered continuing education presentations in more than 50 countries and is an honorary member of the British, Austrian, and Russian Small Animal Veterinary Associations. He received a PhD in comparative medical sciences from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980 and joined the faculty at the University of Florida in that same year. Dr. Burrows is a founder and former CEO of the North American Veterinary Community, currently serves as president of the WSAVA, and is editor-in-chief of the global digital edition of Clinician’s Brief.
Dr. Daphne Westgeest, Member
Daphne Westgeest has recently changed jobs, after 10 years in veterinary practice she now works for Royal Canin, focussing on scientific support. She has been the WSAVA Assembly Member for the Netherlands Association of Companion Animal Medicine (NACAM) from 2013 to 2018 and was responsible for marketing and communications at NACAM.
Lucian Todirica, Ordinary Member
Lucian Todirică is a student in the 5th year at the University of Agricultural Science and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca. From the 1st year of studies he’s involved in the International Veterinary Students’ Association (IVSA). He was elected Development Aid Director at the 65th IVSA Congress in Malaysia. As Development Aid Director he raised money for the Development&Scholarship Fund, was involved in different projects that tried to develop veterinary faculties and was in charge of IVSA scholarships. Lucian loves to travel the world and is really passionate about the theatre.
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The WSAVA Foundation was created to address problems that affect the world every day. Learn about the issues veterinarians worldwide face.
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