(PRESS RELEASE) CARLSBAD, CA - The Gemological Institute of America welcomed three new members to its board of governors and bid farewell to three who completed their terms at the board’s regularly scheduled November meeting at the institute’s World Headquarters in Carlsbad, CA. The week before the board meeting, the institute’s global research team gathered for their annual meeting.

The incoming governors have a wealth of diverse and high-level experience. Karen Evans, national director of the US Cyber Challenge (USCC) and a partner at KE&T Partners has over 25 years of U.S government service, including responsibility for IT implementation and cybersecurity. Lawrence Ma, CEO of Lee Heng Diamond Group and founding president of the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, brings more than 45 years of industry experience, including senior roles in several leading trade organizations. Robert Andrew "Andy" Johnson, CEO of Diamond Cellar Holdings, has extensive experience in retail and commercial real estate.

"Karen Evans, Lawrence Ma and Andy Johnson bring expertise, insight and deep knowledge in areas that are vital to continued success in today’s dynamic global market," said Susan M. Jacques, GIA president and CEO. "They will undoubtedly make a significant contribution as members of the GIA Board of Governors as we work to further GIA’s public benefit mission. We thank the departing Governors for their many years of wise counsel and dedicated service."

The departing Governors are: 

  • John A. Green, president and CEO of Lux Bond & Green, who joined the board in 2007. He was executive chair of the board from 2014 to 2016 and was chair of the laboratory and research committee from 2013 to 2017.
  • James P. Shinehouse, managing partner of Atlantic Financial Advisory Partners, who has served on the GIA board of governors since 2007. He served as executive vice chair from 2015 to 2017 and was head of the audit committee from 2010 to 2017.
  • Ephraim Zion, managing director of Dehres Ltd., who joined the Board in 2007; he served on the laboratory and research committee and the executive committee.

Nearly 60 experts from across the globe gathered for the institute’s 11th annual research meeting. Attendees of the three-day meeting included GIA staff involved in research (22 with doctoral degrees), consulting scientists, fellows from the Richard T. Liddicoat Postdoctoral Research Fellowship program, and GIA governors and executives. The researchers reviewed topics including developments in instrumentation, advancements in detecting diamond treatments and synthetics, origin determination of colored gemstones, and pearl structures.

The role of the board of governors is to direct the strategy of the institute to ensure that the mission and vision of GIA are followed in all decisions, that the reputation of GIA is preserved and continues to grow globally, and that the financial goals of the Institute are met.

For press inquiries, please contact Nellie Barnett at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +1 760-603-4184.

 The Board of Governors met in November at the GIA World Headquarters in Carlsbad, CA. Pictured from left, seated: Barbara A. Sawrey, Ph.D., Lawrence Ma, Barbara Lee Dutrow, Ph.D., Robert Andrew ‘Andy’ Johnson, Thomas T. Yang, Karen Evans; standing: Elliot Tannenbaum, Thomas H. Insley, Lisa A. Locklear, Thomas M. Moses, Board Chair Dione D. Kenyon, Susan M. Jacques, Amit Dhamani, John W. Valley, Ph.D. and Stephen F. Kahler. Not pictured: Glenn R. Nord. Photo by Kevin Schumacher/GIA.

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