AVMA names first-ever chief DEI officer

Published on June 02, 2022
Protect. Promote. Advance.
Latonia Craig, Ed.D

An educator and scholar who currently serves as assistant dean for inclusive excellence at the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine will become AVMA’s first chief diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) officer.

Latonia Craig, Ed.D., will begin her role at the AVMA in September, helping to advance the AVMA’s commitment to creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive work and educational environments across veterinary medicine.

"The AVMA has a unique opportunity to increase DEI across our profession, and that is a role and responsibility that our organization has embraced," AVMA President José Arce said in announcing her appointment. "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."

As chief DEI officer, Craig will be a member of the AVMA's senior leadership team. Her key responsibilities will include:

  • Lead the ongoing implementation and promotion of DEI-related strategy, programs, training, and initiatives. 
  • Support efforts to attract, develop and retain diverse talent in the veterinary profession, and track progress toward this goal.
  • Enhance understanding and appreciation of DEI and cultural awareness throughout veterinary medicine.
  • Serve as staff liaison for the AVMA/AAVMC’s Commission for a Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Veterinary Profession.
  • Lead collaboration with AVMA members, state and allied veterinary organizations, affinity groups and other stakeholders.  

Craig’s appointment “will help veterinary medicine become a more diverse profession,” said Dr. Janet Donlin, AVMA CEO and executive vice president. "Greater diversity across veterinary medicine will strengthen veterinary teams and allow us to serve an increasingly diverse clientele more effectively."

Engagement and support will be essential for this work to be fully transformative, effective, and meaningful.

Craig said she is “incredibly honored and excited to join the AVMA as the organization intentionally seeks to elevate its presence in the DEI space.” 

“Engagement and support will be essential for this work to be fully transformative, effective, and meaningful,” she said. “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.” 

Craig has been assistant dean at Purdue CVM since 2019, leading a college-wide DEI strategic planning process. Under her leadership, Purdue CVM recently became the first veterinary college to be named a Diversity Champion by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

Learn more about her background and achievements in AVMA’s press release announcing her appointment.

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