AGD Welcomes Colleen Lawler, CAE, IOM, As New Executive Director

  • by AGD Staff
  • Mar 1, 2021

Colleen LawlerThe Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) has named Colleen Lawler, CAE, IOM, as its new executive director. An experienced executive and visionary leader with strong experience in healthcare associations and membership organizations spanning over 25 years, Lawler brings a broad range of skills to her new role.

“We are tremendously pleased that Colleen will be leading the Academy of General Dentistry,” said AGD President Bruce L. Cassis, DDS, MAGD. “Bringing someone to the organization with this range of business skills and proven experience in association management gives AGD the strategic leadership needed to expand our services and support to general dentists.”

Lawler joins AGD during a time when general dentists and the profession are facing new challenges. She will lead the organization by initiating new membership and governance models that will increase opportunities for general dentists to interact with AGD and its high-quality programs, services and benefits. As the executive director, Lawler will oversee the strategic, operational, financial and governance plans of the organization to help it achieve its mission and objectives.

“I am pleased and excited about this opportunity to lead AGD and its staff as it continues to provide exceptional programs and services to support general dentists,” said Lawler. “This is a pivotal time for the organization, as the industry is facing unprecedented changes and challenges as a result of COVID-19. I look forward to the exciting possibilities and challenges that await me — and AGD — as we work to provide much-needed services.”

Lawler has extensive experience in driving membership growth, developing strong boards and engaging team members. She was previously the executive director of the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists (SCA), where she launched innovative learning opportunities, expanded member programs, increased membership and corporate sponsorship, and led strategic development planning. 

Prior to her work at SCA, she worked for the American Medical Association as vice president, Membership, Business Operations and Strategy, where she achieved five consecutive years of membership increase. She also held a leadership role with the American Academy of Family Physicians. Her work in the association field began with the National Association of Realtors.

Lawler is a graduate of Robert Morris University in Chicago. She is a certified association executive (CAE) from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). She is also certified from the University of Notre Dame with a certificate from the Institute for Organization Management (IOM).

A dedicated volunteer leader, Lawler has served on numerous committees, councils and boards, including ASAE, Association Forum and Kansas City Society of Association Executives. She has also served in volunteer roles in her local community.

Lawler’s first day with AGD was March 1. She succeeds Max Moses, who retired in December 2020.

About the Academy of General Dentistry

The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is a professional association of more than 38,000 general dentists dedicated to providing quality dental care and oral health education to the public. Founded in 1952, AGD is the second largest dental association and serves the needs and represents the interests of general dentists. For more information about AGD, visit,

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