Over 29 years, Dr. Kelly G. Vest dedicated his efforts to veterinary and infectious disease epidemiology, surveillance, food safety, food defense, One Health, and research of military relevance. After veterinary school, Dr. Vest entered private practice in Blackwell, OK until joining the U.S. Army (1989). During his 20-year military career, he provided food safety, public health, and animal medical care for the military and military working dogs. He has served in overseas environments restoring essential public health services in the aftermath of disasters, providing humanitarian civic and preventive medicine support in host nations, and ensuring food and water safety and security for military forces.
His expertise is in public health; zoonotic and infectious disease epidemiology; food safety, security and defense; One Health concepts; and disease surveillance. The military utilized Dr. Vest as an infectious disease analyst providing strategic threat assessments to senior military policymakers and planners. Furthermore, Dr. Vest has been involved in studies defining the epidemiology of respiratory and zoonotic diseases and has vast experience in international settings such as Honduras, Panama, and Japan.
He has served in military command and staff positions to include Chief Veterinarian to the US Army Southern Command Surgeon and as Commander, Japan District Veterinary Command. While in Japan, he served as the US Military Quarantine Chairman for the US-Japan Status of Forces Agreement for import and export of military food, pets, and military animals. During his tenure he preserved the US Forces meat import rights during U.S. Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and Avian Influenza outbreaks as well as continued fresh fruits and vegetable imports.
His roles included clinical management, assisting food industry partners in meeting food safety and security objectives, negotiating with host nation representatives, and overseeing the safety and security of DoD food procurement from food industry partners throughout Central and South America, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
Other positions held by Dr. Vest include Chief, Respiratory Infections, DoD-Global Emerging Infections System; Chief, DoD-Global Emerging Infections System Operations Division, Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC); Deputy Chief of Staff, AFHSC; Science Director, Center for Global Health Engagement, USUHS; and Associate, HACCP Consulting Group.
Dr. Vest is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and holds an Adjunct Assistant Professor appointment at Oklahoma State University and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He is a member of the Order of Military Medical Merit and was awarded the Army Surgeon General’s “A” Proficiency Designator. He served 20 years in the US Army Veterinary Corps. He is presently serving as the President of the American Association of Food Safety and Public Health
Dr. Kelly G. Vest received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Oklahoma State University (1987) and his Master of Public Health degree at Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health (1994). Later, he completed his Doctor of Public Health degree in epidemiology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS; 2003). Dr. Vest has experience with Dairy (fluid, cheese, powdered); Food Storage and Distribution; Food Packaging; Bakery; Bottled water; Ice; and Canned coffee and milk teas.