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Raymond Cohlmia, D.D.S. named American Dental Association Executive Director

By Darla Shelden, City Sentinel Reporter —

OKLAHOMA CITY – Raymond A. Cohlmia, D.D.S., of Oklahoma City, has been selected by the Board of Trustees to serve as the executive director of the American Dental Association (ADA), effective November 15.

The ADA, headquartered in Chicago, is the nation’s largest dental association, with 163,000 member dentists and 401 staff. 

Dr. Cohlmia’s selection concludes an extensive search process that began when the current executive director announced she would retire in 2021. Dr. Cohlmia will begin onboarding for his new position on October 1.  

“The American Dental Association is excited to welcome Dr. Cohlmia as its new executive director,” said 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. Cohlmia is widely respected in the dental community for his thoughtfulness, dedication, and service-oriented approach to leadership,” Klemmedson added. “With these qualities, as well as his proven background, he is well-suited to help the ADA drive dentistry forward and into the future.”

Serving in a variety of leadership positions, Cohlmia joined the University of Oklahoma (OU) College of Dentistry faculty in 2009. 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 that, he ran a successful private dental practice in Oklahoma City for 26 years. 

“I am humbled and honored to be selected as the next executive director of the American Dental Association,” Cohlmia said.  “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.

“Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working with the ADA in multiple roles,” Cohlmia stated.  “That, combined with my time spent in private practice and as an educator, will benefit me greatly in this new position.”

An active leader in the dental community at the local, state and national levels. Cohlmia served on the ADA Board of Trustees from 2015-2019 and as president of his state dental association in 2001 and local dental society in 1997. He has led the ADA’s New Dentist Committee and Council on Membership, serving as chair in 1999 and 2007, respectively.

Additional ADA appointments include the Council on Annual Sessions, the Council on Dental Benefits, and the American Dental Political Action Committee. Cohlmia has also represented his district as a delegate to the ADA’s House of Delegates—the governing body that develops ADA policies. 

The ADA is the nation’s largest dental association, representing 163,000 dentist members.  The association has advocated for the public’s health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859.

The ADA’s state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive.

“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,” Cohlmia said.

Dr. Cohlmia earned his dental degree in 1988 from the OU College of Dentistry.           

To learn more, visit ADA.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA’s consumer website MouthHealthy.org