Former CFIA president gets honourary degree

Dr. Brian Evans is the first recipient of an honourary degree in veterinary medicine from the University of Calgary.


Evans is the retired executive vice-president of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and was the country’s chief veterinary officer for 15 years.


He graduated from the University of Guelph with a bachelor of science in agriculture in 1974 and a doctor of veterinary medicine in 1978.


He specialized in reproductive herd health and embryo transfer while in private practice, and joined the federal government to develop domestic and international standards and certification programs in support of the safe international movement of animal embryos and germplasm.


While at the CFIA, he was also Canada’s delegate to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) for 13 years. He was elected secretary general for the OIE regional commission for the Americas and to four consecutive three-year terms as the representative of the member countries of the Americas Region on the OIE’s executive council.


Most recently, he was appointed the international body’s deputy director general responsible for animal health, veterinary public health and international standards.


He was also a member of the advisory councils of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph and the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown. He was also a member of the steering committee that founded the faculty of veterinary medicine at the U of C.


He has received numerous national and international awards, including the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s President’s Award, the Queen’s Gold and Diamond Jubilee medals and two public service excellence awards. 


In 2013, Evans was recognized by the Association of Professional Executives for outstanding work and his community service contributions and was conferred with an honorary degree of laws by the University of Guelph.


He is married to Laurianne and has four children.