SCHAUMBURG, Illinois (May 31, 2022)—Latonia Craig, Ed.D., an educator, scholar and currently Assistant Dean for Inclusive Excellence at Purdue University's College of Veterinary Medicine, today was named the American Veterinary Medical Association's first Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer.
Dr. Craig will begin her new role at the AVMA at the beginning of September, AVMA President Jose Arce said in announcing her appointment.
"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," Dr. Arce said. "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 Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President. "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."
“I am incredibly honored and excited to join the AVMA as the organization intentionally seeks to elevate its presence in the DEI space,” Dr. Craig said. “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,” she said.
As Chief DEI Officer, 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.
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. In 2021 and 2019, Vet Up! received the Inspiring Programs in Stem award and the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award for professional schools in 2021 and 2020. Under Dr. Craig's leadership, Purdue CVM was also recently named a Diversity Champion by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the first time the publication has conferred that honor on a veterinary college.
Prior to her position at Purdue, 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. Dr. Craig has been featured on the cover of Today's Woman Magazine and selected as a Top Forty under 40 honoree in Louisville's Business First Magazine.
Dr. Craig holds a Doctor of Education, Leadership degree from Spalding University in Kentucky, master's degrees in Educational Leadership from the University of Cincinnati and Pan-African Studies from the University of Louisville, and a BA in Political Science from Louisville.