The AHIMA Board of Directors has announced that Wylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, has been named the new chief executive officer of AHIMA. Harris is scheduled to start as CEO on February 5.
Harris comes to AHIMA after serving as CEO of the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) and the League of Women Voters Education Fund. Prior to her work at LWVUS, Harris held senior executive positions at the American Nurses Association, including as chief operating officer, was executive director of the Center for American Nurses, and executive director of the Maryland-based Sister to Sister Foundation—a national organization supporting women’s health issues and heart disease education. Harris has also previously served as senior vice president and executive director at the American Heart Association.
While at the LWVUS, Harris worked on enlivening the national organization, according to an AHIMA press release. Working with the LWVUS Board of Directors, Harris created and led an organizational transformation strategy to increase the impact, relevance, and visibility of LWVUS and its more than 700 affiliates.
“Dr. Harris is an exemplary leader with the ability to envision transformative changes and to execute those changes,” said AHIMA Board President/Chair Diann H. Smith, MS, RHIA, CHP, FAHIMA. “She has a strong track record for creating high-performing teams, strengthening membership, and fostering internal and external partnerships to support the missions of the organizations she served. The AHIMA Board of Directors sought an executive with experience leading associations with multi-million dollar operating budgets, and we look forward to working with Dr. Harris to be a powerful voice and advocate for AHIMA and the health information management profession.”
Harris holds a PhD in organizational development from Capella University, based in Minneapolis, MN; a master of management degree from Northwestern University, based in Evanston, IL; and both a bachelor and honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Wittenberg University, based in Springfield, OH. She is an ASAE-certified executive director and certified facilitator for leadership assessments through the Center for Creative Leadership.
“I’m excited to begin this next chapter with AHIMA and lead this great association at a time when both the healthcare industry and the health information management profession are experiencing rapid change,” Harris said. “I look forward to working with the AHIMA Board of Directors, leadership, staff, and volunteers to grow and strengthen membership while continuing to advance the HIM profession and AHIMA.”
Chris Dimick is editor-in-chief of the Journal of AHIMA.