New Raptor Center Executive Director
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jan Williams, College of Veterinary Medicine, 612-624-6228, Pager: 612-534-4740
Julia Ponder named executive director of The Raptor Center
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (February 7, 2007) – The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine has named Julia Ponder, D.V.M., as executive director of The Raptor Center.
A graduate of Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Ponder practiced small animal medicine in the Dallas area for 14 years before moving to Minnesota in 1998. She originally joined The Raptor Center as a volunteer, working three mornings a week as a veterinarian in the center’s clinic. She became staff veterinarian in 2002, providing medical care and rehabilitation to the more than 800 eagles, hawks, owls, and falcons that are treated each year.
In 2005 Dr. Ponder was named interim associate director and worked with a board of directors to set the strategic direction for the center. As executive director, she will be responsible for implementation of the strategic plan, providing organizational leadership with an emphasis on growth through fund raising, educational sponsorships, research grants, and endowments.
“I am excited about leading an organization with a mission as compelling as The Raptor Center's,” Dr. Ponder said. “I look forward to building on its strong reputation and creating an enduring program that is focused on raptors, based on science, and effective in addressing environmental issues facing our world in the years to come.” The center reaches more than 250,000 people through public education programs each year and will continue its work on identifying emerging issues related to raptor health and populations.
“Juli did an excellent job as interim associate director, and we are thrilled at her acceptance of the position of executive director,” says Jeffrey S. Klausner, dean. “Her extensive background in veterinary medicine, and specifically in raptor medicine and surgery, will be a great asset to the center’s rehabilitation work as well as the training of veterinarians from around the world.”
Ponder succeeds cofounder Patrick T. Redig, D.V.M., Ph.D., who provided leadership to the center for the past 21 years. Dr. Redig will remain an active faculty member conducting research and teaching and will sit on the center’s board of directors, acting as liaison between the center and his extensive network of national and international contacts.
The College of Veterinary Medicine improves the health and well-being of animals and people by providing high-quality veterinary training, conducting leading-edge research, and delivering innovative veterinary services.