Dr. Richt came to Kansas State University in 2008 as The Regents Distinguished Professor and Kansas Bioscience Eminent Scholar. In 2010, he became Director of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (CEEZAD) and in 2020 Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center on Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (CEZID). He received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the University of Munich and a PhD in Virology and Immunology from the University of Giessen, both in Germany. After coming to the United States in 1989, he completed three years of postdoctoral/residency studies at The Johns Hopkins University and later served for eight years as a Veterinary Medical Officer at the National Animal Disease Center (USDA-ARS) in Ames, Iowa. He has edited several books, published more than 250 peer-reviewed manuscripts and raised more than $50 million in grants for veterinary research. Dr. Richt is a pioneer in veterinary science, most notably in the “One Health” field. His work on high consequence pathogens with zoonotic and transboundary potential led to strategies to identify, control and/or eradicate such agents. His basic and applied research includes studies on animal influenza viruses, animal prion diseases including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV), African Swine fever virus (ASFV) and Borna Disease virus (BDV). Dr. Richt established the first reverse genetics system for swine influenza virus (SIV), and made seminal contributions to the development of a modified live SIV vaccine now sold in the U.S. as “Ingelvac Provenza™” and to understanding the virulence of the reconstructed 1918 “Spanish Flu” virus in livestock. He identified an atypical BSE case with a causative mutation (“genetic BSE”), used gene-editing approaches to develop the first prion protein knock-out cattle which are resistant to prion infection, and provided valuable information on host range of animal prions essential for risk analysis. Dr. Richt’s RVFV work led to the development of novel domestic and wild ruminant models for RVF and a safe, efficacious, and DIVA compatible subunit vaccine which is presently undergoing USDA licensure. For ASFV, he is developing subunit and modified live virus vaccine candidates as well as Point-of- Need diagnostics (PenCheckTM) to protect swine from this devastating disease. His recent work focused on the establishment of preclinical animal models for COVID-19 in cats, hamsters and ferrets. As founding Director of the DHS CEEZAD and the NIH CEZID Centers, he is supporting NIH, DHS and USDA in protecting public health and U.S. agricultural systems from devastating animal and zoonotic diseases.