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 working in a clinical setting before shifting his efforts to academics, teaching in the clinic, and conducting experimental work at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Košice, Slovakia. Currently, Dr. Varga owns a national pharmaceutical distributor and holds technical and business positions for several key players in the pharmaceutical and pet food industries. Additionally, he is an active member of the veterinary community, holding board and committee positions for WSAVA and the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations. In his spare time, Dr. Varga travels the world, participates in long-distance marathons, and loves to golf.

Dr. Mark Johnston, Vice President

Following a career in equine veterinary medicine, Mark Johnston moved into veterinary publishing and is CEO of Vetstream, a global provider of digital resources to the veterinary profession and veterinary businesses. Vetstream is a Global Educational Partner and Communications Partner of the WSAVA and is closely involved with the WSAVA Foundation's AFSCAN project in Africa.

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 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 Vice President 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

A graduate of the University of Minnesota’s veterinary program, Dr. Laurel Kaddatz is currently the hospital director of Pound Ridge Veterinary Center. Active at many levels in organized veterinary medicine, Dr. Kaddatz served as president of the New York State Veterinary Medical Society in 2000 and was the recipient of their Veterinarian of the Year award in 2002. He chaired the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Veterinary Service, co-chaired the AVMA Governance Performance Review Committee, and is a New York delegate to the AVMA's House of Delegates. As a member of the AVMA’s Committee on International Veterinary Affairs, he represents the AVMA at WSAVA. Dr. Kaddatz is a past president of the North American Veterinary Community Board of Directors and currently serves as Treasurer on their Board of Directors.

Dr. Colin F. Burrows, Board 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 Joy M. Santos, Board Member

A graduate of the University of the Philippines College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr Santos owns D’Saints Veterinary Corner,  a small animal  clinic with 2 branches south of Manila. She is actively involved in several veterinary associations, serving as the Immediate Past President of  the Philippine Animal Hospital Association (PAHA), Director of Philippine Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA), a member of WSAVA L&N committee, FAVA-AOVG CE committee member.

A Scholar of NAVC for 2014, Coordinator for the 2nd Global Animal Outreach in Tacloban Philippines, a project of WSAVA-AWWC . She loves to travel and a certified advanced scuba diver.

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 has recently retired from his role as 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 the incoming President of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Dr. Daphne Westgeest, Board 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. 

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