Dr Kate Richards in line to become RCVS President in July - Veterinary Practice
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Dr Kate Richards in line to become RCVS President in July

Come July and subject to ratification by RCVS Council, the offices of RCVS President, Senior and Junior VP will all be held by women for the first time in the College’s history

The Council of the RCVS has elected veterinary surgeon Dr Kate
Richards as Junior Vice-President with immediate effect and, subject to its
recommendation in June and ratification at its Annual General Meeting on 9 July
2021, the next RCVS President.

A graduate of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School
of Veterinary Studies
, Kate was a farm vet for 15 years, a partner in a 15 vet
practice in Aberdeen. She then moved to the pharmaceutical industry as a
veterinary advisor before joining the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). From there, she moved into non-veterinary Senior Civil
Service (SCS) roles in several Whitehall departments including the Cabinet
Office and the Ministry of Justice. As a senior civil servant she was Principal
Private Secretary to three Secretaries of State for Scotland, handling a
diverse policy portfolio and working across Whitehall, including No.10 Downing
Street and the Devolved Administrations.

First elected to
RCVS Council in 2015 for a four year term and again in 2020, Kate has
previously served as Chair of the RCVS Standards Committee and RCVS
representative on the UK co-ordination group for the Federation of Vets of
Europe (FVE). Currently Vice Chair of the Education Committee, member of the
Registration Committee and the Environment and Sustainability Working Party,
Kate is an appointed veterinary member of Veterinary Nurses’ Council.

Kate is a qualified Official Veterinarian (OV),
a Non-Executive Director on the Moredun Foundation and Scottish Agriculture
College (SAC) Commercial Boards, a veterinary advisor on a Scotland’s Rural
(SRUC) mental health project and on the Council of the Association of
Government Veterinarians. She’s a member of the BVA and the Veterinary Public Health Association. A Council member of the
British Cattle Veterinary Association (2004-10), Kate served as a Trustee of the
BVA Animal Welfare Foundation (2014-17).

Kate’s election by her RCVS Council peers also
means that, come July and subject to ratification by RCVS Council, the offices
of RCVS President, Senior-Vice President and Junior Vice-President will all be
held by women for the first time in the College’s 177-year history.

Current RCVS President Dr Mandisa Greene will
become Senior Vice-President, and joining Kate and Mandisa on the Officer team
will be Dr Melissa Donald, who last month was elected Junior Vice-President for
2021-22. Current Senior Vice-President Dr Niall Connell was recently elected
RCVS Treasurer.

The vacancy in the RCVS Officer team arose
following Professor David Argyle’s decision to resign from Council in March,
meaning that Council needed to hold two votes in quick succession: one at its
scheduled meeting in March for the 2021-22 JVP position; and one today for the
current JVP vacancy.

Speaking following
confirmation of her election, Kate said: “I am delighted to be elected JVP.
It’s been an exceptionally challenging year for those in all walks of
veterinary life, including students aspiring to join our profession. It will be
an honour to lead the RCVS as its tenth female president, working with
veterinary colleagues as well as reaching out to allied professionals
acknowledging that there will be challenges to navigate as well as triumphs to

The College’s AGM will be held online again
this year, and further details will be published in due course.

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