Donna M. Baker suddenly resigned as president and CEO of the Gemological Institute of America due to “differing views on the direction of GIA,” according to a statement issued late Thursday from the organization that bills itself as “the world’s foremost authority in gemology.”
Board of Governors Chairwoman, Susan M. Jacques, president and CEO of Borsheims Fine Jewelry and Gifts, will serve as interim president and CEO while the board conducts a search for a new executive.
Tom Moses, senior VP of Laboratory and Research will continue overseeing all of GIA’s global laboratory operations. Bev Hori, VP of Education and chief learning officer, will continue to lead GIA’s gemological and industry education efforts. No other changes in management are anticipated, GIA said in its statement.
Established in 1931, the “Institute,” as it is known, invented the famous 4Cs of Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat Weight in the early 1950s and in 1953, created the International Diamond Grading System that is recognized by virtually every professional jeweler in the world. It is the leading source of knowledge, standards, and education in gems and jewelry with offices and educational facilities throughout the world. Its headquarters is in Carlsbad, Calif.
Baker is only the fifth person and the first woman to lead the organization. She joined GIA in 2001 serving as senior VP and general counsel before being named acting president in May of 2006. The position became permanent in November of the same year.
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