For the newly hired director of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), Alfonso Clavijo, it’s been a whirlwind his first month on the job at the nation’s future top animal disease research lab.
The facility is approximately 80% done, and with a little over a year left before the U.S. Department of Agriculture takes over the facility from the Department of Homeland Security, there’s also a lot left to do.
Clavijo previously served as the laboratory executive director of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s National Centres for Animal Disease, managing Biosafety Level 3 and 4 facilities in that position. He’s also worked in leadership positions for the Pan American Health Organization in Brazil and for the Texas state diagnostic lab, in addition to a yearlong stint as a veterinary medicine professor at K-State.
Clavijo said he’s currently focused on hiring the building’s eventual workforce of more than 400 workers. So far, about 100 people have been hired, but the focus has been on operational positions first. Once those people are in place, NBAF will shift gears and begin to hire for its scientific positions.
Read more: NBAF Director Clavijo Sees Facility Setting a Gold Standard Manhattan Mercury
See also: NBAF Names First Permanent Director Global Biodefense