June 10, 2022 – Rockville, MD-based executive search firm JDG Associates has assisted in the recruitment of Latonia Craig as the first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer for the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). “As one of the largest and most influential veterinary associations in the world, the AVMA has a unique opportunity to increase DEI across our profession, and that is a role and responsibility that our organization has embraced,” said Jose Arce, president. “We need a chief DEI officer who can lead, inspire and work collaboratively with key stakeholders, and Dr. Craig’s breadth of experience and extensive work with veterinary medical education make her the perfect choice.”
“I am delighted that Dr. Craig will be joining us to lead our DEI initiatives,” said Dr. Janet Donlin, the AVMA’s EVP and CEO. “Her background and record of success in advancing DEI will help veterinary medicine become a more diverse profession. Greater diversity across veterinary medicine will strengthen veterinary teams and allow us to serve an increasingly diverse clientele more effectively.”
Dr. Craig has served as assistant dean at Purdue CVM since 2019, leading a college-wide DEI strategic planning process. She facilitated the recruitment of a more diverse veterinary profession through intentional pipeline programming efforts and developed continuous DEI training and workshops. Her achievements include leading the award-winning Vet-Up! pipeline program that recruits, supports, and retains high school students, college students, and current DVM students interested in the veterinary field. Prior to that, Dr. Craig was director of graduate recruitment and diversity retention at the University of Louisville School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, providing counsel and leadership on all diversity efforts. Her previous roles included teaching and academic advising at various institutions.
As chief DEI officer of AVMA, Dr. Craig will be a member of the AVMA’s senior leadership team. Her key responsibilities will include the ongoing implementation and promotion of DEI-related strategy, programs, training, and initiatives for the AVMA; supporting efforts to attract, develop and retain diverse talent in the veterinary profession, as well as tracking progress toward that goal; and enhancing the understanding and appreciation for DEI and cultural awareness throughout veterinary medicine. Dr. Craig will be the AVMA’s staff liaison for the AVMA/AAVMC’s Commission for a Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Veterinary Profession and will lead collaboration with AVMA members, state and allied veterinary organizations, affinity groups and other stakeholders.
“I am incredibly honored and excited to join the AVMA as the organization intentionally seeks to elevate its presence in the DEI space,” said Dr. Craig. “There is no better time than now. I am firmly committed to serving in a welcoming and inclusive way for all. Engagement and support will be essential for this work to be fully transformative, effective, and meaningful. I look forward to working with organizational members and incorporating their feedback into developing sustainable, long-term DEI initiatives reflective of the organization’s needs and the members it serves.”
The American Veterinary Medical Association is a national not-for-profit association established in 1863. The organization represents approximately 99,500 veterinarians nationwide. Its mission is to lead the profession by advocating for members advancing the science and practice of veterinary medicine to improve animal and human health.
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JDG Associates has been providing executive recruitment services to Fortune 1000 corporations, associations and non-profits, federal, state, and local governments, research and consulting firms, and defense contractors since 1973. The firm’s research-intensive process and personal approach have resulted in more than 4,000 senior-level searches across a broad spectrum of industries and disciplines in the Washington, D.C. region and nationally.
Darren DeGioia serves as president of JDG. He conducts senior-level search assignments for research and consulting organizations as well as the public sector. His areas of expertise include information technology, accounting and finance, the quantitative sciences, operations / general management, marketing, and communications. Prior to joining JDG, Mr. DeGioia spent four years in the hospitality industry with the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Sheraton Hotels.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media