May 23, 2006
Boyajian Resigns as GIA Head
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) appointed Donna M. Baker as acting president of the organization following the resignation of William Boyajian yesterday.
Boyajian has been with the GIA as an educator since 1975 and has served as president since 1986. He will continue to act as a consultant to GIA until the end of July.
The Institute's Board of Governors appointed Baker during a meeting yesterday. Baker joined the GIA in 2001 as senior vice president and general counsel, and has overseen GIA's legal affairs, human resources, real estate planning and development, information technology and community development. Baker also operates the museum and library and heads up a number of special projects.
Baker holds a law degree and an MBA from the University of California Los Angeles.
Boyajian's resignation comes at the end of a year during which GIA was involved in a lawsuit and conducted an investigation surrounding diamond grading practices. "It has been a challenging, yet productive year for the Institute," says Boyajian in a GIA release. "With many of these matters now behind us, it is the right time for me to retire from GIA. After 20 rewarding years as president of GIA, I feel that it is time to pass the baton to new leadership."
Under Boyajian's leadership, GIA has grown in size and become a leading diamond grading and gem identification laboratory, as well as a prominent research organization and educational institute. Boyajian led the Institute's move to its new headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif., in 1996 and increased the number of campuses to 14 around the world.