Matthew J. Salois announced as new AVMA chief economist

March 7, 2018

New director of Veterinary Economics Division replaces Michael Dicks, comes to association from industry role.

Dr. Matthew J. SaloisThe AVMA announced today that it has hired Matthew J. Salois, PhD, to lead the association's Veterinary Economics Division. He will replace the division's current-and first-director, Michael R. Dicks, PhD, who announced his retirement after serving five years in the role.

Dr. Salois comes to the AVMA from Elanco Animal Health, according to an association release. He has served as director of global scientific affairs and policy at Elanco since 2016, and he was an economic research and policy advisor for the company from 2014 to 2016. Before joining Elanco, he worked as the chief economist at the Florida Department of Citrus and as an assistant professor in economics at the University of Reading in the U.K.

“Matt brings a wealth of industry experience and knowledge of economics and research,” says AVMA President Michael J. Topper, DVM, in the release. “He has the opportunity now to build upon the AVMA Economic Division's solid foundation to ensure that all the incredible data we have is turned into the most effective tools and resources for our members and the profession.”

Dr. Salois says the scope of achievement already accomplished by the AVMA Economics Division has been “breathtaking” and that the economics team currently in place is a testament to AVMA's commitment to the veterinary profession.

“I feel very privileged to be joining not only a team that I admire, but also to be a part of the AVMA and a world-class group of people dedicated to providing value to its members,” Dr. Salois says in the release.

One of the new director's goals is to deliver economic analyses that provide tangible and actionable direction for the veterinary profession.

“Like many economists, I have a genuine passion for the field,” he says. “But my ‘why' is more than just about economics; it's about acting on the insights generated through economics to help guide decisions and, hopefully, lead the veterinary profession to a stronger place.”

Dr. Salois says the AVMA has already done much to benefit its members and the profession, such as taking the many sources of data available and identifying the most relevant and valuable information “hiding inside.” But he also stresses that there's a lot veterinarians can do to help economists.

“I have been privileged to work with some top-notch veterinarians the last few years, and they have truly helped me be a better economist by bringing their insights and perspective into my work,” Dr. Salois says. “By partnering together, I believe that economists and veterinarians can become more than the sum of their parts. I want to hear our members' perspectives on the challenges and opportunities facing the profession and how they see economics ultimately helping them.”