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Industry leaders recognized for advancing DEI in the veterinary profession


Christine Jenkins, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM), and Ruby L. Perry, DVM, PhD, MS, DACVR, were honored at the American Veterinary Medical Association Convention on Friday in Denver, CO.

Two leaders in veterinary medicine have been recognized for their work to advance diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the industry, at the 2023 American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Convention in Denver, Colorado. Ruby L. Perry, DVM, PhD, MS, DACVR, and Christine Jenkins, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM), were honored during the association's President's Reception on Friday, according to the AVMA.1

"Their unwavering commitment and strong, visionary leadership have catalyzed change and will leave an indelible mark on our profession," said Lori Teller, DVM, DABVP (canine/feline), CVJ, president of the AVMA, in an organizational release.1

Ruby L. Perry, DVM, PhD, MS, DACVR

Photo courtesy of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Ruby L. Perry, DVM, PhD, MS, DACVR

Perry is dean of the Tuskegee University College of Veteriary Medicine in Alabama as well as a professor of veterinary radiology at the university.2 She was named the first Black female president of the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) in March 2023 and serves as the board chair for the AAVMC. She previously held the role of secretary of the AAVMC's board of directors and completed a term as co-chair of the AVMA-AAVMC Diversity Commission, according to the AAVMC.3 Perry also is a member of the American College of Veterinary Radiology.2

Christine Jenkins, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM)

Photo courtesy of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Christine Jenkins, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM)

Jenkins is retiring as US chief medical officer and vice president, veterinary medical services and outcomes research, US operations at Zoetis Inc,1 where she also directed the American philanthropy and corporate social responsibility strategy.4 A member of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) for nearly 30 years,5 she is a past president the ACVIM Foundation board of directors and serves as an advocate for exposing and attracting underrepresented populations into the veterinary profession and its specialized areas of practice.4

Both graduates of Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine2-4, Jenkins and Perry co-chaired the Commission for a Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Veterinary Profession, formed by the AVMA and AAVMC in late 2020 to lay the groundwork for improving DEI throughout the veterinary profession. The 16-member commission worked throughout 2021 to develop a strategic plan for promoting the value of DEI throughout the profession; and increasing diversity among veterinarians, veterinary school applicants and enrollees, interns, residents, and board-certified specialists; and to encourage and assist veterinary medical associations and animal health companies to measure and improve DEI.1

The commission’s work led to the development of Journey for Teams, the profession-wide DEI initiative launched in December 2022 through a partnership between the AVMA and the Veterinary Medical Association Executives, as well as the hiring of the AVMA’s first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, Latonia Craig, EdD in September 2022.1

“We can honor Dr. Perry’s and Dr. Jenkins’ tireless efforts and unwavering dedication by continuing to build upon the foundation they have laid and ensure that commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion remains a core value for our profession,” Teller said, in the release.1


  1. AVMA honors Zoetis executive Dr Christine Jenkins and Tuskegee veterinary Dean Dr Ruby Perry for DEI leadership. News release. American Veterinary Medical Association. July 14, 2023. Accessed July 17, 2023. https://www.avma.org/news/press-releases/avma-honors-zoetis-executive-dr-christine-jenkins-and-tuskegee-veterinary-dean
  2. Office of the Dean: Welcome message. Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. Accessed July 17, 2023. https://www.tuskegee.edu/programs-courses/colleges-schools/cvm/cvm-deans-message
  3. American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) announces its 2023-2024 Board of Directors. News release. March 17, 2023. Accessed July 17, 2023. https://www.aavmc.org/news/american-association-of-veterinary-medical-colleges-aavmc-announces-its-2023-2024-board-of-directors/
  4. Leadership bio: Christine Jenkins, DVM, DACVIM. One Health Commission. Accessed July 17, 2023. https://www.onehealthcommission.org/documents/filelibrary/leadership/Jenkins_Bio_9112016_96F0EADABADA6.pdf
  5. Member spotlight: Christine Jenkins, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM). American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. February 21, 2023. Accessed July 17, 2023. https://www.acvim.org/news-publications/current-news/2023/02/21/member-spotlight-christine-jenkins-dvm-dacvim-(saim)
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