Early Career Development Committee

The purpose of the Early Career Development Committee (ECDC) is to support AVMA efforts to strengthen the value of AVMA membership for recent graduates. The ECDC concept was developed to encourage recent graduate involvement by creating volunteer positions specifically designated for this segment of the profession and allow for varying degrees of time commitment to the Association.


The Committee shall:

  1. Work with AVMA staff to develop resources that will impact AVMA members early in their careers
  2. Create networking opportunities for individuals early in their veterinary careers within the Early Career Online Community
  3. Actively engage recent graduates to elicit discussions and gather feedback for the AVMA on a real time basis

Membership, Method of Appointment, and Representation

The Committee shall consist of nine voting members who will represent the following:

  1. 5 recent graduates (less than 5 years post-graduation)
  2. 2 emerging leaders (5-15 years post-graduation)
  3. A Faculty Advisor at a college/school of veterinary medicine
  4. A representative from the Veterinary Medical Association Executives

All nine members of the ECDC are appointed by the Board of Directors. Nominations, including self-nominations, will be accepted for the nine positions, with preference given to those active within the Early Career Online Community or nominated by a principal or constituent allied veterinary medical organization of the AVMA.

Consistent with AVMA policy, all Committee members are eligible for 2 three-year terms.

Staff Consultants

Dr. Marci J. Kirk


The Chair of the ECDC will be elected annually from among the Committee’s membership at each Spring Meeting.

Vice Chair

The Vice Chair of the ECDC will be elected annually from among the Committee’s membership at each spring meeting.


ECDC meetings will be held up to twice a year in Schaumburg, IL at AVMA Headquarters.

Conference Calls

Conference calls will occur throughout the year as needed to conduct committee business.


Travel expenses will be authorized in accordance with AVMA travel policy.


The ECDC will advise and report to the Board of Directors.

Life Expectancy

Committee performance will be reviewed in compliance with AVMA governance policies.

Early Career Online Community

The Early Career Online Community (ECOC) provides professional interaction and support among recent veterinary graduates and functions as a discussion group to gather feedback for the AVMA. The Community will be associated with the ECDC and designated for AVMA Members who are less than five years post-graduation from veterinary school. Early Career Online Community participants will commit themselves to regular electronic engagement within the Community. In January of each calendar year, the ECOC will open its membership to student AVMA (SAVMA) members in their final year of school. ECOC members are expected to engage in professional behavior when participating within the online community. The AVMA social media moderator policy will be posted to the files section within the group as a guideline. The overall goal of the ECOC is to have an engaged and supportive community.

All interested recent graduates who are AVMA Members may participate in the Early Career Online Community. In addition, specific invitations will be extended to those recent graduates with the following experience:

  • Former SAVMA or SAVMA Chapter officers;
  • AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference participants;
  • Veterinary Leadership Experience participants;
  • Other AVMA leadership program participants; and/or
  • Those who have submitted their nomination for an AVMA entity, but were not selected.