The ADA announced May 12 that it named Raymond A. Cohlmia, D.D.S., dean of the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry and a former ADA Board of Trustees member, as its executive director, effective Nov. 15.
Dr. Cohlmia, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, will begin onboarding for his new position on Oct. 1. The announcement comes after a robust search process that began when the current executive director announced she would retire in 2021.
“The American Dental Association is excited to welcome Dr. Cohlmia as its new executive director,” states ADA president Daniel J. Klemmedson, D.D.S., M.D. “In addition to a breadth of experience in dental practice and education, his many years of service in organized dentistry made him a standout candidate.”
Dr. Klemmedson added that Dr. Cohlmia is widely respected in the dental community for his thoughtfulness, dedication and service-oriented approach to leadership.
“With these qualities, as well as his proven background, he is well-suited to help the ADA drive dentistry forward and into the future,” Dr. Klemmedson said.
Dr. Cohlmia’s experience includes joining the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry faculty in 2009, serving in a variety of leadership positions. In 2011, he was named director of comprehensive care, and he served as assistant dean for patient care from 2013 until he was appointed dean in 2015. Prior to joining the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Cohlmia ran a private dental practice for 26 years.
“I am humbled and honored to be selected as the next executive director of the American Dental Association,” said Dr. Cohlmia. “I have always believed that organized dentistry plays an integral role in the advancement of the profession, and to me, there is no better organization to advocate for oral health than the American Dental Association.”
An active leader in the dental community at the local, state and national levels, Dr. Cohlmia served on the ADA Board of Trustees from 2015-19 and as president of the Oklahoma Dental Association in 2001 and his local dental society in 1997. He has led the ADA New Dentist Committee and Council on Membership, serving as chair in 1999 and 2007, respectively. Additional ADA appointments over the years include the Council on Annual Sessions, the Council on Dental Benefits, and the American Dental Political Action Committee. Dr. Cohlmia has also represented his district as a delegate to the ADA’s House of Delegates — the governing body that develops ADA policies.
“Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working with the ADA in multiple roles,” Dr. Cohlmia said. “That, combined with my time spent in private practice and as an educator, will benefit me greatly in this new position. I am excited about the opportunities ahead with the American Dental Association, and I look forward to working together with its many members to advance both the organization and the profession.”
Dr. Cohlmia earned his dental degree in 1988 from the OU College of Dentistry. He currently resides in northwest Oklahoma City with his wife, Sherry, and has three children.