Veterinary Leadership Conference Planning Committee


The committee is responsible for guiding and selecting content for the Veterinary Leadership Conference (VLC) that is focused on leadership development and based on the schedule developed by AVMA staff in conjunction with the House Advisory Committee.

Structure and purpose of the VLC

The Veterinary Leadership Conference comprises AVMA governance meetings, continuing education sessions focused on leadership development, and networking opportunities. Its purpose is to equip veterinary professionals at all stages of their career for personal and professional leadership that will benefit both the individual attendee and the veterinary profession.

Membership, method of appointment, and representation

The nine-member committee is appointed by the Board of Directors from nominations received, except for the student representative, who is appointed by the Student AVMA (SAVMA).

The committee shall consist of nine members who represent each of the following areas:

  • Veterinary Medical Association Executives (nominated by the VMAE)
  • Early career veterinarians (graduated from veterinary school within the last 15 years)
  • Principal and constituent allied veterinary organizations (currently serving as an association officer or served as an association officer within the past three years; nominated by the principal or constituent allied organization)
  • House of Delegates (member with at least three years left of the term; nominated by the House Advisory Committee)
  • Academic leadership education advisors (veterinarian or non-veterinarian)
  • Leadership development advisors (veterinarian or non-veterinarian)
  • AVMA key staff leadership (appointed by the AVMA executive vice president/CEO)
  • Member at large
  • Student representative (currently enrolled in veterinary school; SAVMA membership required; nominated by SAVMA)

Members serve staggered three-year terms beginning at the January committee meeting that is held in conjunction with the first Veterinary Leadership Conference held after their appointment and ending three years later at the same meeting.

The student member will serve a one-year term beginning at the January committee meeting that is held in conjunction with the first Veterinary Leadership Conference held after their appointment and ending one year later at the same meeting. The student must be enrolled in veterinary school and a member of SAVMA at the time of their appointment, and will remain eligible after graduation. Preference is given to students who have attended the Veterinary Leadership Conference previously.

Preference will be given to applicants who have the following leadership competencies, excluding the student representative:

  • At least five years' experience serving in one or more leadership role (e.g., serving on an entity of a volunteer membership organization, including student organizations; serving as an officer or executive staff of a membership organization (including student organizations) or corporation; being an owner or senior manager of a business)
  • Attendance at a minimum of 10 hours of leadership programming within the last two years
  • Demonstrated knowledge of leadership programming

All committee nominees must provide documented leadership and programming committee experience as part of their nomination packets, to include documentation, at a minimum, of the above competencies. Documentation of additional leadership/leadership programming experience is welcome.


The chair and vice chair are elected by the committee annually.


The committee is authorized to hold two in-person meetings: one to be held in conjunction with the Veterinary Leadership Conference at the conference venue, and the second to be held later in the year. The committee may also meet electronically.


Travel expenses are authorized in accordance with the AVMA travel policy.


The committee reports to the Board of Directors.

Life expectancy

The committee will be reviewed in compliance with AVMA governance policies.