Linda Edgar is the first UW dental school graduate to head the American Dental Association

In addition to her dental leadership, Edgar is an author, and she competed in the very first Women's Olympic Marathon Trials.

Linda Edgar, who applied to the UW School of Dentistry after 15 years as a school teacher, is now the president of the American Dental Association.

She has been a top-flight distance runner who completed more than 45 marathons and competed in the first women’s Olympic marathons trials. (She finished in just two hours and 48 minutes.) That’s on top of completing two Ironman triathlon races. Linda Edgar, ’92, a retired Federal Way dentist and alumna of the UW School of Dentistry, has a well-earned reputation for making things happen. In the early 2000s, she joined her husband, retired dentist Bryan, to help raise $22 million for the UW dental school.

And now, she is the first graduate of the UW dental school to serve as president of the American Dental Association. She’s also only the fifth woman in the role out of 160 over the organization’s history.

One of the UW’s most prominent dental alumni, Edgar has given her all to her alma mater. Besides generous philanthropic support, she has served on the dean’s advisory board and was board president for two years. No wonder she received the dean’s Lifetime Service Award. She knows the value of education firsthand, having been a schoolteacher in Auburn for 15 years before turning to dentistry.

As the head of dentistry’s national organization, she is eager to bring more people from many backgrounds into the profession. “I would like to see ADA be more proactive helping young people and diverse groups choose careers in dentistry,” she says. When she decided to run for the ADA leadership role in 2021, she said, “I believe collaboration is very important, and I know it can move dentistry forward into more new and innovative programs and ideas.”