Former Chief Executive – IAPB
Following his original training as a research chemist, Peter spent several years working on a variety of research topics in industry and at universities. He then opted for a career change and for the past 30 years he has been engaged in health and community development work.
Peter commenced his career in international development in Africa where he lived for 12 years working in, and managing, several different types of development programmes, including teacher training, small business development, environmental and agricultural projects and capacity building of disabled people’s organisations. He then spent five years promoting services for people with dementia in the UK.
Working initially for Sightsavers and currently for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, Peter has been involved with the development of eye health services and the elimination of avoidable blindness and visual impairment for the past 15 years. He is a passionate advocate for Universal Health Coverage as well as the realisation of the rights of people with disabilities. Peter became the CEO of IAPB in February 2009 and stepped down in December 2017.
Co-ordinator – Vision Loss Expert Group
Along with his role as Co-ordinator of the Vision Loss Expert Group, Rupert is a Professor of Ophthalmology at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, directs the Huntingdon Glaucoma Diagnostic and Research Centre at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, and is also Honorary Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.
Following his qualification as an Ophthalmic Surgeon in 2000, Rupert trained at Moorfields Eye Hospital for a further five years as a Specialist Registrar. He then undertook two Glaucoma fellowships, one with Professor Weinreb at the internationally renowned Shiley Eye Centre/Hamilton Glaucoma Center in San Diego, California, where he was International Glaucoma Clinical and Research Fellow. The second fellowship was at Moorfields Eye Hospital where he was Senior Glaucoma Resident. He has a strong research interest, particularly in advanced techniques of Glaucoma diagnosis and progression and the management of Glaucoma in the community, along with overseas ophthalmology which has involved design and analysis of several large population-based surveys of eye disease, some national in scope, eg. Pakistan, Bangladesh and Trinidad national surveys. Additionally, he is the Chair of the National Institute for Health Research (the research arm of the UK’s National Health Service) Ophthalmology Specialty Group, responsible for NHS research delivery.
An expert on Glaucoma, Rupert has conducted or led a huge quantity of research into the disease, leading to the completion of a Doctorate in Medicine, the publication of more than 100 papers in leading peer-reviewed ophthalmic journals and book chapters, and with it has garnered an international reputation in the field of Glaucoma. He is an invited reviewer for many leading ophthalmology journals, and is also involved in research into altitude ophthalmology and expedition medicine.
In his role as Co-ordinator of the Vision Loss Expert Group, he has overseen the long-term research into the world-wide prevalence rates of blindness and visual impairment, the ongoing results of which are represented in the prevalence maps featured on the Vision Atlas website.
Development and Communications Director – IAPB
Joanna has worked in the voluntary sector for nearly 20 years, building partnerships, and developing revenue streams in organisations as diverse as the Royal Academy of Arts to the National Deaf Children’s Society. Before joining IAPB in 2010, Joanna worked at Standard Chartered Bank running the Seeing is Believing programme; under her leadership the programme expanded many fold in terms of partners, projects and money raised. Today it is a US$100 million dollar programme with a track record of more than 10 years of building partnerships and investing in eye health programmes world-wide. Joanna is committed to building partnerships and fostering collaboration; at IAPB her responsibilities are varied including membership, development, communications and events.
Senior Director, Innovation & Sight Program – Seva Foundation
Dr. Suzanne Gilbert is a leading expert and respected innovator in the field of international blindness prevention and sight restoration. She is a public health specialist with more than 30 years experience co-designing and implementing eye care service delivery systems with some of the world’s poorest communities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Suzanne is a co-founder of Seva Foundation, and currently serves as Senior Director of Seva’s Innovation & Sight Program. In addition to representing Seva nationally and internationally in community eye health circles, her focus is to develop and promote the Global Sight Initiative. This Seva-lead consortium of nearly 100 eye care organizations works to produce one million additional Cataract surgeries annually through quality, sustainable programmes.
A sought-after speaker on health policy, sustainability, human resource development and building lasting global partnerships, Suzanne is a Board member of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, is chair of the IAPB North America Region, and serves on committees of the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Her graduate work in Health Behaviour, Anthropology, and Epidemiology expanded the tools that she has been applying to the field of prevention of blindness for the past 30 years. She participated in the landmark Nepal Blindness Survey which demonstrated the overwhelming importance of Cataract as a cause of blindness in the developing world.
Advocacy Manager – IAPB
Zoe Gray is Advocacy Manager at the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. Her role involves raising visibility of eye health, promoting an enabling policy environment, and advancing universal access in particular so that those most in need get access to eye health.
Zoe has worked in policy and advocacy in development and human rights since 2001. A major focus of her work has been in advancing access to development including health for groups and sectors of the population experiencing or at risk of marginalization. This includes people with disabilities, minorities and indigenous peoples, and older persons. She has worked at local, national, regional and global levels. Zoe has experience of planning, delivering and monitoring projects in Africa, Asia, Europe, and America, and delivering workshops and chairing and organising meetings in those regions. She is a trained journalist and has authored a broad range of papers, articles and blogs on topics including eye health, universal health coverage and equitable health systems, inclusive development and human rights and development.
Policy and Programme Strategy Director – Sightsavers
Dominic has worked in international development for 20 years, for a number of NGOs and within a range of civil society networks. As Director of Sightsavers’ Policy and Programme Strategy department, he is responsible for Sightsavers’ programme strategy, research and evidence base, policy influencing and campaigns and strategic external partnerships including governmental and multilateral relationships.
Dominic has been with Sightsavers since 2006, and is focused on ensuring Sightsavers’ programmes are of high quality and that the learning from both successes and failures is shared internally to improve programme impact, and externally to influence wider policy and implementation within the health, education and social inclusion sectors in particular. He also works to ensure that Sightsavers is at the forefront of understanding how to combine good programming with cost effectiveness and that Sightsavers delivers what it promises when it enters into agreements with other stakeholders.
Most importantly, Dominic is committed to the organisation continuously improving its understanding and delivery of lasting change in and with the communities and systems where we work – and being able to measure that change. Dominic is a board member of both the International Disability and Development Consortium, and Sightsavers Ireland.
Adrian Hopkins, MD, is Director of the Mectizan Donation Program, a programme of The Task Force for Global Health. In this role, Dr. Hopkins works closely with public and private partners, including Merck and GSK, to provide medicines to eliminate River Blindness (Onchocerciasis) world-wide, and Lymphatic Filariasis in countries where the two diseases are co-endemic.
Dr. Hopkins began his career in a rural Baptist Mission Hospital in an area of tropical rain forest called Pimu, Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)) where he spent nearly 17 years. In 1993, Dr. Hopkins became Technical Advisor to the Central African Republic (CAR) Ministry of Health for the National Programme for Onchocerciasis Control and Prevention of Blindness at the Christoffel-BlindenMission (CBM). In 1999, in spite of the ongoing civil war, he returned to the Congo to establish the Training Centre for Ophthalmology for Central Africa (CFOAC), which is a centre for training mid-level personnel in eye care. Since 1995, he has been Medical Advisor for CBM for the Central African Region and has also been the advisor for Onchocerciasis control that involves continuous oversight of programmes in CAR, DRC, Sudan, and Burundi. The latter programme is now being transformed into one for control of neglected tropical diseases.
Dr. Hopkins also served four years on the Technical Consultative Committee of the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) and has completed almost four years as chair of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Non-Governmental Development Organization (NGDO) Co-ordination Group for Onchocerciasis Control. He has also been involved in national planning and implementation of WHO’s Vision 2020 initiative to eliminate avoidable blindness, mostly in French-speaking regions of Africa.
In 2015, Dr. Hopkins was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his humanitarian service in Africa. In 2016, he was awarded the Prince Abdulaziz Bin Ahmad Al Saud Prevention of Blindness Award by the President of the Middle East Africa Council on Opthalmology.
Dr. Hopkins received his medical degree from St. Andrews University.
Director – L V Prasad Eye Institute
Dr. Rohit C Khanna completed his graduation and post-graduation in ophthalmology from Government Medical College, Nagpur and Comprehensive Fellowship at L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India. Subsequently, he did a Masters in Community Eye Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Masters in Public Health from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He also holds adjunct faculty positions at Case Western Reserve University and University of Rochester in United States of America and University of New South Wales, Australia.
Apart from his clinical responsibility, he is involved in public health training, research and capacity building. His main area of research involves understanding the epidemiology of blinding eye diseases and outcomes of different interventions. He has made more than 100 oral and poster presentations in national and international conferences and given many guest lectures. He has been extensively published in peer-reviewed journals and is a reviewer for several international and national journals. He has several grants on his name and is also on the editorial board of various international journals.
Vice President for Eye Health Programmes – Helen Keller International
Nicholas has served as the Vice President for Eye Health Programmes at Helen Keller International (HKI) since 2003, providing administrative and programmatic direction and oversight for HKI’s eye health programs world-wide. HKI’s eye health programmes seek to eliminate avoidable blindness and visual impairment due to uncorrected Refractive Error, Diabetic Retinopathy and Cataract and to support integrative education and rehabilitation efforts for visually impaired children. He has served as the co-chair of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness Diabetic Retinopathy Working Group since its establishment in 2013, and has also directed public health and social service interventions addressing the needs of disadvantaged children at the Children’s Health Fund, Covenant House, and the Children’s Village.
Economics Consultant – WHO
Lachlan McDonald is an economist with expertise in international development and public health. For three years he was the Senior Economist at The Fred Hollows Foundation, where he focused mainly on health financing and the development of innovative financing mechanisms to support Cataract service delivery. Prior to this he gained several years of experience in central banking, both in Australia and Vanuatu, and has worked in a variety of roles in international development. He is currently working as an Economics Consultant at the World Health Organization’s Western Pacific Regional Office. Lachlan completed his PhD thesis in Development Economics at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. He holds a masters of International Relations from the University of Melbourne, and bachelor’s degrees in both economics, with honours, and commerce from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
CEO – Brien Holden Vision Institute
Professor Kovin Naidoo is an academic, former anti-apartheid activist and political prisoner, Optometrist and an internationally celebrated public health leader. His professional life has been dedicated to delivering eye care to people in need through research, public health and entrepreneurship.
He has served as the Head of Optometry at University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa and as the co-founder and CEO of the African Vision Research Institute. Kovin was a co-founder of Clear Vision Optical franchise and has been on numerous boards throughout his career including most recently the Vision Impact Institute.
He has served in many elected/voluntary positions including Africa Chair of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, trustee of VISION 2020: Right to Sight, a member of the World Council of Optometry Governing Board, and member of the World Health Organization Refractive Error Working Group. He is founder and Chair of African Vision which is establishing Cataract surgical services in the public sector. He also chairs the SA Red Cross Air Mercy Services Board of Trustees.
Professor Naidoo is a Fulbright Scholar and was elected an Ashoka Fellow in 2006 for his social entrepreneurial efforts in addressing the needs of those less privileged. He was African Optometrist of the Year in 2002 and named International Optometrist in 2007. He was jointly awarded with Professor Brien Holden the Schwab Social Entrepreneur Award for Africa 2010, at the regional World Economic Forum in Tanzania because of his ability to merge his business acumen with social causes. Following the death of Brien Holden, he was appointed Interim CEO of the Brien Holden Vision Institute in August 2015, and CEO in December that year.
Global Workshop Programme Manager – IAPB
Robin Heber Percy has worked in eye health since 2004, initially at Orbis as Head of Programmes and then at the International Centre for Eye Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, from 2007. Robin manages the IAPB Global Workshop Programme in partnership with the IAPB regional offices to deliver a series of strategic workshops to support the delivery of the WHO Global Action Plan.
Director – Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology
Thulasiraj has an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. After working for eight years at Berger Paints, he moved to Aravind when it was in its early years. He has been part of the senior leadership team of Aravind Eye Care System since 1981 and was instrumental in establishing Aravind’s systems and processes. Now he heads Lions Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology. In line with the organisation’s mission to eliminate needless blindness, along with his team, LAICO has mentored more than 320 eye hospitals across the globe, often resulting in a doubling of their output following the engagement.
He has been an advisor to WHO, and to India’s National Programme for the Control of Blindness, served as the Southeast Asia Chair of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and was the founder President of Vision 2020 India. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and contributed to many book chapters.
Thulasiraj’s list of accolades is extensive: he was named as a Social Entrepreneur in 2005 by the Schwab Foundation, adjudged the ‘Hospital Administrator of the Year in 2008’ in India by Modern Medicare and GE Health and was a key speaker at the TED Conference, India in 2009. He has been listed among the 30 Most Influential People in Public Health globally by a portal on Masters in Public Health Management, and in 2014 was honoured as the ‘Most Inspiring Healthcare Leader of the Year’ by The Times of India.
International Health & Development
Professor Serge Resnikoff MD, PhD, is an international expert in global public health, ophthalmology, and eye health. He is a visiting professor at the University of New South Wales and teaches in Geneva and Paris. He is also the President of International Health and Development and the President and Chair of Organisation pour la Prévention de la Cécité (OPC), an NGO active in prevention of blindness in francophone Africa.
From 2008 to 2010 he served as CEO of Thea, a European pharmaceutical group, specializing in the research, development, and commercialization of ophthalmology products. From 2004 to 2008, he co-ordinated various World Health Organization (WHO) programmes aiming to prevent and manage non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular, respiratory, genetic, ear and eye diseases.
From 1999 until 2004, he led the Programme for the Prevention of Blindness and Deafness, which aimed to make essential eye and ear care available to all. Since joining WHO in 1995, he has developed public health strategies and contributed to global partnerships such as VISION 2020, involving governments, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations and private sector groups. Before this, he worked for 14 years in developing countries, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, on assignments from the French government to strengthen local and national capacity in disease prevention and control.
With a PhD from Paris University, an MD from Bordeaux University, and post-graduate degrees in ophthalmology, tropical medicine, air and space medicine, public health, epidemiology, and biostatistics, he has published over 180 refereed articles and book chapters, and presented more than 250 invited lectures.
Programme Leader, Myopia Programme – Brien Holden Vision Institute
Professor Padmaja Sankaridurg was awarded her B.Opt degree from the Elite School of Optometry, Chennai, India in 1989, Ph.D from the University of New South Wales, Australia in 1999 and MIP from University of Technology, Australia in 2012. After working for a number of years at the L V Prasad Eye Institute, India as the Chief of Contact Lens Services, she took up a position at the Brien Holden Vision Institute (formerly the Institute for Eye Research) and the Vision Cooperative Research Centre. She is also a Conjoint Professor at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Australia. She has been actively researching Myopia for approximately 13 years and is also involved in post-graduate supervision and manages the Intellectual Property portfolio of the Institute. She has more than 50 articles in peer reviewed journals, has authored several book chapters and has delivered many podium presentations including keynote lectures.
Chair – The International Coalition for Trachoma Control
Virginia is the Global Partnership Executive at The Fred Hollows Foundation and current Chair of the International Coalition for Trachoma Control, one of the community of stakeholders within the WHO Alliance for the Global Elimination of Trachoma by 2020 (GET2020 Alliance), which was established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1996. The GET2020 Alliance mobilises resources, implements the SAFE treatment strategy at scale, and fosters effective co-operation within a world-wide partnership of Member States, NGOs through the International Coalition for Trachoma Control (ICTC), academic and research organisations, and public and private sector supporters. In 2016 the GET2020 Alliance published Eliminating Trachoma: Accelerating Towards 2020 – the latest global data, disease profile and prioritised blue print for action for stakeholders working together in pursuit of ambitious, yet achievable, elimination objectives. See the International Coalition for Trachoma Control website for more.
Fundraising and Partnerships Manager – IAPB
John works closely with IAPB member organisations to promote partnership programmes and mobilise resources for eye health globally. Recently these have included advocacy and training programmes at the global level, prevalence studies in eye health in South East Asia and programmes addressing childhood blindness in Eastern Europe. Before joining IAPB in January 2011, John worked for the deafblind charity Sense and Sense International.
Manager of Science and Business Development – Brien Holden Vision Institute
Dr Nina Tahhan is an Optometrist who was awarded her PhD in 2013 from the School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, for her research on the impact of Uncorrected Refractive Error on quality of life and the cost-effectiveness of its correction. Nina’s interest in Uncorrected Refractive Error was precipitated by years of work in disadvantaged communities in Australia and internationally. Nina has delivered eye care services and education to help build local eye care capacity in Sri Lanka, Mongolia, India and remote Aboriginal Australian communities with the Royal Flying Doctor service.
Nina also has a Masters in Public Health and has a history in contact lens research. Nina has presented and published research findings at numerous international and domestic conferences and in peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed journals. Nina is currently employed at the Brien Holden Vision Institute as Manager of Science and Business Development and is a Visiting Fellow of the School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Director, Policy and Advocacy – IAPB
Johannes is elected President of CONCORD, the European Confederation of Relief and Development NGOs, that represent more than 2,600 NGOs, supported by millions of citizens across Europe. During the last 15 years of his engagement in development co-operation he has been focusing on the rights of persons with disabilities and their inclusion, as well as access to eye health and health systems strengthening – amongst others as Director for International Programme Support and Policies at Light for the World and Chair of the International Disability and Development Consortium. Johannes works with IAPB members, especially those engaged in SDGs, as well as the external alliances of which IAPB is a part. He has been at the forefront of civil society input into the development of the SDG framework.