Assistant Dean for Inclusive Excellence Latonia Craig Leaving to Take Leadership Role with AVMA
The American Veterinary Medical Association has named Dr. Latonia Craig, Purdue Veterinary Medicine assistant dean for inclusive excellence, as its new chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. In announcing the appointment, AVMA President Jose Arce said Dr. Craig will begin her new role with the AVMA at the beginning of September.
“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.”
Dr. Craig will conclude her position at the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine August 31. Dean Willie Reed said the new AVMA position represents a significant leadership opportunity for Dr. Craig. “We wish her much success in this new role. This platform will give her an opportunity to have a major role in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the veterinary profession,” Dean Reed said. Dr. Craig joined PVM in January 2019 and was instrumental in developing the college’s second strategic plan for DEI. She also played a key role in managing the college’s Vet Up! program and championed many diversity initiatives in the college.
“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 in an announcement released by the AVMA. “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,” Dr. Craig said.
“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.”
Dr. Craig holds a Doctor of Education 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 bachelor’s in political science from Louisville. Prior to her position at Purdue, she was director of graduate recruitment and diversity retention at the University of Louisville School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies. As the AVMA’s 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.
Writer(s): American Veterinary Medical Association and Kevin Doerr | email@example.com