GIA Names Baker President

The Gemological Institute of America has named acting president Donna M. Baker to the permanent position, effective immediately. The announcement came November 19 at the opening of the GIA Board of Governors’ regular November meeting in Carlsbad, Calif.

Board chairman Helene Fortunoff said in a statement, “The board is very pleased to have Donna’s former interim presidency now made permanent. She has been an effective member of our senior management team for more than five years and has consistently demonstrated a drive for excellence in all aspects of the GIA experience.”

GIA chairman Ralph Destino, who chaired the search committee, said, “We screened and interviewed a broad range of very accomplished executives from a variety of fields before reaching our final decision. Our unanimous conclusion was that Donna Baker was the best of the best. Her knowledge of the gem and jewelry industry, and her understanding of the public-benefit, nonprofit role that defines GIA’s mission will serve us well going forward. She has the complete support of our Board of Governors.”

Baker became acting president last May following the resignation of then-president William E. Boyajian. Prior to that, she was GIA’s vice president and general counsel, a position she had held since February 2001.