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CEO of AVMA PLIT to Speak
at Commencement

Dr. Janet Donlin

Among Steve Jobs’ words of wisdom is a 1995 quote that inspires Dr. Janet Donlin: Don’t just live a life; build your life.

She plans to bring that message to the MU College of Veterinary Medicine on May 16 as the guest speaker for the college’s 65th commencement. Commencement ceremonies will be held at 1 p.m. in Jesse Hall on the MU campus.

As a veterinary student, Donlin didn’t understand the breadth of career opportunities in veterinary medicine, she said. She said she hopes her keynote address will make students more aware of the diverse options the profession offers.

Donlin has experienced firsthand the variety of choices a doctor of veterinary medicine degree offers. She began her career in a mixed animal practice and then held faculty positions at the University of Minnesota-Waseca while also working at an emergency clinic. She served in several roles at the American Veterinary Medical Association from 1991 to 2007, when she became the chief veterinary officer of Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc. There she was responsible for managing global veterinary teams and driving the development of products and services for the veterinary profession.

Donlin is now the chief executive officer of the American Veterinary Medical Association Professional Liability Insurance Trust. Founded in 1962 to ensure veterinarians would have an advocate in the management of their professional liability claims, the trust has expanded its sponsored program offerings to include veterinary license defense, business owner policies, workers’ compensation, employment practices liability, automobile, and comprehensive personal insurance solutions for AVMA and student AVMA members. About 60,000 veterinarians participate in the PLIT-sponsored program.

In her role as CEO, Donlin is responsible for the business operations of the trust. She helps AVMA members insured through PLIT-sponsored programs understand issues related to malpractice allegations and practice situations. She also reviews professional liability claims, identifies experts and appraisers for claims defense, and advises the insurance broker and underwriters regarding new developments in veterinary medicine.

“I believe passionately that the AVMA is a great association for its members,” she said. “It’s nice to be a key part of that and to be able to help veterinarians in the trenches do their jobs.”

Donlin graduated from the University of Minnesota with a doctorate of veterinary medicine and a bachelor of science in medical technology. In 2006, she was the first veterinarian to obtain the American Society of Association Executives Certified Association Executive credential.

Donlin holds active memberships with the AVMA, Illinois Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, American Society of Association Executives and the American Association of Corporate and Public Practice Veterinarians.

Donlin has a daughter who is a first-year veterinary student at MU.

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Last Update: May 2, 2014