Our Governing Board is made of representatives from our six world regions:
Their role is to manage the organisation’s affairs. Current members of our Governing Board are listed below.
Dr. Uduak Udom holds a Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Optometry degrees from the University of Benin, Nigeria. Following a 4-year residency, majoring in Primary Care Optometry, she earned the Fellowship of the Nigerian College of Optometrists (FNCO) in 2006. She also earned the Fellowship of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO) in 2006. Dr. Udom also holds a Masters degree i nublic Health from Salus University, Pennsylvania, USA.
She has volunteered in several community eye care programs; and in 2006, she attended the Train-the-Trainer program in Vision 2020/Community Eye Health (CEH). Following this, she became a facilitator in several Vision 2020/CEH workshops in Nigeria, Trinidad, Malaysia, Uganda and Ethiopia.
In 2010, Dr. Udom became the first optometrist to be awarded the UK Commonwealth Professional Fellowship with three months professional development. She was hosted by the WCO, office space was provided by the UK College of Optometrists and she was exposed to most eye care organizations, eye hospitals, optometry training institutions and ophthalmic instrument manufacturers in the UK.
She has published several papers in both Nigerian and international optometric journals; as well as in International Society for Quality of Life Research journals; and also presented many lectures at professional meetings, conferences and universities in different parts of the world.
Uduak served as the first President of Women Optometrists in Nigeria, 2000 – 2004; was the first female President of the Nigerian Optometric Association, 2006 – 2008; first female President, African Council of Optometry: 2008 – 2012; and also served on the Optometrists’ and Dispensing Opticians’ Registration Board of Nigeria, 2009 – 2011. At present, she is Primary Care Consultant at Ceejay Vision Centre, Uyo, Nigeria; part-time instructor, Nigerian College of Optometrists and Liaison for Africa, VOSH International.
Uduak is happily married to Ezekiel Udom, who has been very supportive of her career development; and they are blessed with four children and two grandchildren.
Dr. Susan Cooper is a 1977 graduate of the University Of Waterloo School Of Optometry. She remains active in her Brampton, Ontario practice which she started after she graduated. The practice has now grown to include three other female optometrists. She has participated in many optometric endeavours over her career including serving as first woman President of the College of Optometrists of Ontario.
Susan recently retired from the University Of Waterloo School Of Optometry where she was the Director of the International Optometric Bridging Program, a program that assists and prepares internationally educated optometrists who have immigrated to Canada as they transition to practice in their new country.
In her role as the current President of the World Council of Optometry, Susan continues to advocate for optometry globally, working with governments and optometric associations to move our profession forward.
Dr. Scott Mundle, a 1983 graduate of the University of Waterloo, began his involvement in organized optometry early in his career as a Councillor for the Manitoba Association of Optometrists (MAO) in 1986. Since then, Dr Mundle took active roles in various provincial committees including Chair of the MAO Scope of Practice Committee; Chair of the Manitoba Law Reform Commission Review; Secretary-Treasurer, Vice-President, and President, MAO.
Dr. Mundle became the Manitoba Councilor to the Canadian Association of Optometrists in 1996 and he served on a variety of national committees including as Chair, Publications Committee and Public Visual Welfare Committee. Added to this, Dr Mundle preserves his member-status at the MAO Legislation Committee, as well he was the first non-American appointed to the Licensure and Regulation Committee for the American Optometric Association, St. Louis, MO.
Dr. Mundle was President of the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) from 2002 to 2004 and currently is the Canadian Delegate to the World Council of Optometry.
Married to University of Waterloo classmate Dr Michelle Georgi, the couple has three children, Cameron, Kirsten and Kent. On chance that any other free time presents itself, Dr Mundle dedicates it to marathon running.
Congress Standing Committee Chair
Professor Kovin Naidoo is a well recognised, prominent public health leader, an optometrist and an academic.
Kovin was recently awarded his PhD by the University of New South Wales. As a Fulbright Scholar, he obtained both a Masters in Public Health from Temple University and a Doctorate of Optometry from Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Philadelphia, USA. He graduated from the former University of Durban Westville, (University of KwaZulu-Natal) with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1998 and a Bachelor of Optometry in 1992.
On his return to South Africa following his postgraduate studies in the USA, Kovin served as the Head of the Department of Optometry at the former University of Durban Westville (UKZN) from 1996 to 1999. He is currently an Associate Professor of Optometry at the University of KwaZulu-Natal seconded to the International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE).
As well as leading ICEE, a global non-profit organisation involved in sustainable refractive service development in developing countries, Kovin also heads the African Vision of Research Institute (AVRI), is adjunct faculty at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and is co-author of CORE (Comprehensive Optometric Reference), a desk reference for optometrists which is now on its third edition.
Kovin is also chair of the WCO Public Health Committee and advisor to many other optometry organisations worldwide.
His publications include book chapters and articles in journals on public health and sports vision. He has also been the principal investigator on the African component of two World Health Organization (WHO) studies.
Public Health Committee Chair
Sandra S. Block, OD, M Ed, MPH, FAAO, FCOVD Professor of Optometry at Illinois College of Optometry Medical Director, School-Based Vision Clinics Global Clinical Advisor, Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes Dr. Block received her OD degree (1981) and Pediatric Residency (1982) at the Illinois College of Optometry where she is a faculty member. She completed her Master of Education at National Louis University and her Masters in Public Health from the University of Illinois, School of Public Health. She has been a consultant to Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes program since 1995 and has been instrumental in developing the vision program globally. Dr. Block serves as the Medical Director for the Illinois Eye Institute school-based vision clinic serving Chicago Public Schools. Her interests lie in primary care for children and persons with disabilities, as well as, diagnosis and treatment of visually related learning problems. Dr. Block has authored numerous publications and conducted presentations worldwide. She is a fellow and Diplomate in Public Health and Environmental Optometry at the American Academy of Optometry, as well as, achieving a Fellow in College of Optometrists in Visual Development. She has recently been appointed to chair the Public Health Committee of the World Council of Optometry.
Education and Fellowships Committee Chair
Gerald E. Lowther received his B.Sc, O.D., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees from The Ohio State University. He has been on the faculties of optometry programs at The Ohio State University, Ferris State University, University of Alabama at Birmingham and Indiana University.
Gerald retired as dean of the School of Optometry at Indiana University. He is a past-president of the American Academy of Optometry, the National Board of Examiners in Optometry and the International Society for Contact Lens Research. He was a previous editor of the International Contact Lens Clinic journal and the Contact Lens Update series.
Gerald received an honorary Ph.D. from Ramkhamhaeng University in Thailand; a Distinguished Faculty Award from the Michigan Association of Governing Boards; Life Fellowship Award from the American Academy of Optometry; Distinguished Service and Life Time Achievement awards from the Indiana Optometric Association, distinguished scholar of the National Academies of Practice, the Ohio State University Alumni Association Medalist Award and other awards.
He has published over 100 research papers and lectured extensively nationally and internationally.
Legislation Registration and Standards Committee Chair
Nigel St Rose was elected as the first President of the Caribbean Optometrists Association (CARIOA) and served two terms. During this time CARIOA was officially recognized as a sub region of the Latin American Association of Optometry and Optics (ALDOO) and subsequently the World Council of Optometry (WCO). The Latin American Association of Optometry and Optics (ALDOO) at its biannual congress voted Nigel St Rose, Past President of the Trinidad and Tobago Optometrists Association (TTOA) and Caribbean Optometrists Association (CARIOA) the Caribbean representative on the ALDOO Governing Board and a seat on the World Council of Optometry (WCO) Governing Board based in London.
Nigel studied Optometry at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) in the Northwest of England before being accepted as a member of the College of Optometrists and registering with the General Optical Council in 1992. He returned to Trinidad in 1992 and worked in several small independent optometry practices in Trinidad and St Lucia before opening his own practice Island Eyes Ltd in 2000.
After a fire in 2001 at his Excellent City Centre location the practice was relocated to St Joseph in 2003 and has flourished there. Since that time Nigel has married Roxanne Abraham St Rose and they now have two children, Chelsea and Adrian
Nigel is currently a member of the Trinidad & Tobago Optician's Registration Council (TTORC) which is working with the Ministry of Health to produce a new Optometry policy that promises to revolutionize primary Eye care in Trinidad & Tobago.
Dr Peter Kehoe received his OD degree from the Illinois College of Optometry, Chicago, in 1984 and a Doctor of Science in 1998. He became a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry in 1999 and earned his Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry in 2011. He was named a Distinguished Practitioner in the National Academies of Practice in 2013.
Since 1984, Dr Kehoe has been a principal of Kehoe Eye Care, PC in Galesburg, IL. The practice emphasises comprehensive optometric care including paediatrics, geriatrics, glaucoma, retinal disease, contact lenses, surgical co-management and comprehensive refractive and eyewear services. Dr Kehoe lectures internationally on a variety of clinical and practice topics.
Dr Kehoe serves as an administrator in Illinois for the Vision Source Network of Independent Private Practices. Dr Kehoe served as President of the Illinois Optometric Association from 1997-1998 and received their Optometrist of the Year award in 2001. He served on the board of trustees of the American Optometric Association from 1999-2010, and as President of the 36,000 member organisation from 2008-2009.
After serving several years as the North American representative on the Governing Board of the World Council of Optometry he was elected Treasurer in 2013. In addition to his practice, Dr Kehoe serves as a consultant to Transitions Optical as a Professional Development Advisor and to Optos, Inc as an International Professional Relations Consultant for Optometry and serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Diopsys, Inc.
Latin America representative
Latin American representative
Ricardo Bretas, O.D. graduated as an optometris from the Fundacion Del Area Andina University, Bogota (2002). His post graduate degree is in orthopics from the International Foundation San Martin. He then became a specialist in Behavioral Optometry and vision therapy with Sanet Vision Seminars then worked post graduate in Orthoptics with emphasis on Visual Rehabilitation with Faculty of Health of Sao Paulo. Now he is Professor of Graduate Studies in Neuro-Optometry at the FASUP/Bas Institute.
Highlights of participation in quality visual campaigns include: Civil Police of the State of Goiás-Goiânia-GO (2012), Project Mozambique "See you Better" – Republic of Mozambique-Africa (2009), CEESAM-Special Education Center of Fern-Fern-DF (2007), Kardiff-Pais de Galles-Special Olymics Opening Eyes (2002), Asia-Pacific Council of Optometry-11th Asian Pacific Optometric Congress-Korea (1997), and Southern College Optometry-Visual Prevention Campaign "El Sauzalito if Hace View"- Argentina (1995). Highligthts of his international experience include: President of Brazilian Council of Optics and Optometry (CBOO) -1999-2001/2003-2005/2011-2015 and Honorary President since 2005, President Elect for 2017-2018 Latin American Association of Optics and Optometry (ALDOO), President of Bashir Institute of Education and Research, Clinical Director of the Brazilian Institute of Optics, Optometry and Visual Rehabilitation (IBOOL), Clinical Director of Special Oplympics Lions International (Kardiff Welliis) and member of Education Committee of the World Council of Optometry in 1996.
Anguyo Dralega started his optometry career in 1987 when he graduated with a Diploma in Optometry from the Institute of Optometry in Khartoum, Sudan. He went on to attain his BSc. and MSc in Optometry (Hons) from the Department of Optometry at Bradford University. He is a member of the Genral Optical Council and College of Optometrists in the UK.
Anguyo has practised as an optometrist since 1987 in parts of Africa and the UK. He is currently Managing Director of Golden Eye Surgery and Optical Services and Executive Director and an optometrist for Med Optics Group. Anguyo is the Co-founder the Optometrists Association of Uganda (OAU) and was Chairman of the association 2007-2013. He is current President of the International Christian Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) Uganda Chapter and President of the African Council Optometrists (AFCO).
Anguyo is “the coordinator and lecturer of Optometry program at Makerere University” and also Principal Chief Trainer of Ophthalmologists: Refraction course at Mbarara University and has been in this role since 2010.
Anguyo is married and blessed with 4 children.
Asia Pacific representative
The Managing Director of Razak Optometrists and also a practising optometrist, Shameem grew up in Fiji. He completed secondary education with a bursary scholarship from Wellington High in New Zealand in 1976. He graduated with a Diploma in Optometry under the Indian Government Cultural Scholarship Scheme from India in 1980.
Shameem persevered with his studies and graduated with a Diploma in Applied Computing from the University of South Pacific in Suva, Fiji in 1988.
In 1996 he completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Ocular Pharmacology from Auckland University and Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Clinical Optometry from Melbourne School of Optometry in 2002.
Shameem is the President of the Fiji Optometric Association, Board Member of the Fiji Optometrist and Dispensing Optician Board with the Ministry of Health in Fiji, President of the Asia Pacific Council of Optometry, Board member
of World Council of Optometry and Member of the Legislative Registration and Standard Committee of WCO.
He has served as Past President of the Rotary Club of Suva East and Secretary of Education Board of the Fiji Muslim Schools.
Shameem’s passion is family eye care, he sees patients of all ages and provides the highest level of vision and eye care to his patients.
Paul Folkesson has been an authorised optometrist (by the National Board of Health and Welfare) since 1980, and since 1986 an authorised contact lens specialist. He bought his own private practice 1987 and sold the company in 2004. Since then he has acted as a consultant optometrist when needed within Sweden.
He is owner and CEO since 1999 in own consultant company Synbar AB working with Business, Board and Personal Development.
Paul has been annually elected as president for the Swedish Optometric Association (Optikerförbundet) since 1996 and also had office as Editor in Chief for the Swedish Professional Journal (Aktuell Optik & Optometri) 1996-2005. He has been a national delegate to the Nordic Optical Council (NOR) since 1996, and has been serving as President three times.
He became a national delegate to European Council of Optemetry and Optics (ECOO) in 1996 and was elected as Executive Committee member from 2012 and is now serving as President of the ECOO Executive Committee He has served as a member of the ECOO Professional Services Committee for several years. During 2001-03 he was elected to a working group with mission to form new statutes and working methods for ECOO. In 2006-08 he chaired an ECOO working group focused on CET points from a European perspective together with Armin Duddek, SBAO, Switzerland and Peter Coe, GOC, UK,.
Since 2008 he was appointed by the Swedish Government as delegate of the Swedish National Board for Consumer Complaints, (ARN). From 2011-12 he was a Government appointed delegate of the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education, Department of Quality Assurance, in the matter of quality audit of education program.
Paul is Founder member and Member of Board of Directors for Swedish Industry of Optometry since 2005 and present.
As President for the Swedish professional assocaition, Paul organises adn is responsible for the Swedish annual CET congress (Optometridagarna) including lecture program and exhibition. Optometridagarna has grown to be the largest professional CET congress in the Scandinavian countries.
Julie-Anne Little is a Senior lecturer in the Optometry & Vision Science department within the School of Biomedical Sciences at Ulster University.
Julie-Anne's research concerns paediatic vision, accommodation and vergence mechanisms, and understanding the impact of intellectual disability on visual function. Publications in high-impact journals and international presentations disseminate this work, and she was returned in the Research Excellent Framework (REF) 2014, with the Biomedical Sciences Research Institute ranked among the top five universities in the UK for biomedical research, and a 100% world-learning research environment.
She is programme director for the MSc in Clinical Visual Science and other postgraduate qualifications for optometrists, as well as being a core member of the BSc (Hons) Optometry programme at Ulster. She has a strong external profile in optometry as Immediate Past President of the European Council of Optometry & Optics, and nationally as an AOP councillor and member of the General Optical Council's (GOC) education panel.
Jesus Garcia Poyatos is the International affairs Advisor of the Spanish General Council of Optometry (CGCOO), as well as its meeting planner for issues including continuing education. Jesús has been active for 10 years in clinical optics private practice, complemented by academic and public policy work in the field of optometry and optics. During the past 15 years, he has also been involved with the CGCOO in various capacities, including representing the European Council of Optometry and Optics (ECOO) as a member of the Exeucitve Committee for 8 years and performing the duties of Treasurer. Jesus Garcia Poyatos is serving as Governing Board member to the World Council of Optometry (WCO).
In 2008, he was appointed an executive member of the prestigious Spanish peer-reviewed Journal of Optometry. Jesús holds a Bachelor?s Degree in Optometry from the European University of Madrid (Spain), a BSc in Optometry and an MSc in Clinical Optometry from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (U.S.), as well as a Masters in Corporate Events Management from the Complutense University of Madrid. From 2004 to 2010 he was a Visiting Professor at the Camilo José Cela University lecturing in its ?Congresses and public Events Organization? Master Program. Since 2010, he has enjoyed the status of member of the European Academy of Optometry.
Eastern Mediterranean representative
Dr. Hassan Awada is the Director of Espace Vision in the MIddle East and Director of Eye Tech Vision in Paris, France.
He has many accomplishments since graduating in Optometry and Optics from the International School of Optometry in Paris, France and earning a diploma in Optometry, Physiological Optics, and Contact Lenses from Paris University XI. Those include being an Ocularist from Institut Yves Maigret in Nantes, Fance and working as an Ocularist in Lebonan, Jordan, Iraq, Dubai, Qatar, Eypt, Switzerland, and France.
Hassan is President of the Eastern Mediterranean Council of Optometry (EMCO) and Trustee board member of the World Council of Optometry (WCO).
Eastern Mediterranean representative
Hasan Minto works for Brien Holden Vision Institute as the Global Director for Sustainable Services Development . He works to promote inclusion of persons with vision impairment through establishment of services for optometry and low vision, and training of appropriate human resources.
Hasan is a member of the WCO Governing board as Eastern Mediterranean Council of Optometry representative as well as various WHO and Vision 2020 working groups and lectures on low vision and refractive error at the International Centre for Eye Health within the London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine, the Pakistan Institute of Community Ophthalmology, and the Pakistan Institute of Preventive Ophthalmology. He has been invited to present at various professional conferences and congresses around the world and in 2007 he received the ‘Essilor Award for Outstanding International Contributions to Optometry’.
He has conceptualised and developed low vision programme in more than 30 countries. His aim in life is to promote inclusion of persons with vision impairment through establishment of services for optometry and low vision, training of appropriate human resources and research. He is a human rights activist; with a varied interest in books, international politics, music, and food.
Eastern Mediterranean representative
North America representative
Mitchell T. Munson, O.D. was elected to the American Optometric Association Board of Trustees in June 2006, ascended to the presidency at the 116th Annual AOA Congress and 43rd Annual AOSA Conference: Optometry’s Meeting® in June 2013, and now serves as Immediate Past President.
In addition to his duties as Immediate Past President, Dr. Munson serves as Speaker of the House, chair of the AOA Personnel Committee and is a member of the AOA Agenda, Building and Executive Committees. Dr. Munson serves as board liaison to the AOA Corporate and Industry Relations Center and is the board liaison to affiliate associations in Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Utah and Washington, as well as the Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry.
Prior to his election to the Board, Dr. Munson spent 10 years in the AOA volunteer structure serving on the AOA New Technologies Committee, Statutory Scope Committee and the AOA Political Action Committee where he served as chair from 2003-2004.
In 1992, he was elected to the Colorado Optometric Association (COA) Board of Trustees and elected president in 1995. The COA named him Young Optometrist of the Year in 1993 and Optometrist of the Year in 1996. He was presented with COA’s Distinguished Service Award in 2001.
Dr. Munson is a past president of the Southwest Council of Optometry and a Fellow in the American Academy of Optometry.
A 1986 graduate of the Southern California College of Optometry, Dr. Munson founded Highlands Ranch Vision Center, P.C. in 1988. It has now grown to a four doctor group practice which includes his wife and classmate, Dr. Susan Brunnett.
North American representative
Steven A. Loomis, O.D., was first elected to the American Optometric Association Board of Trustees in 2007 and re-elected in 2010. He was elected President at the 118th Annual AOA Conference in June, 2015. He also serves as Chairman of the Executive, Committee, Agenda Committee and Building Committee. Prior to his election as President, Dr. Loomis served as the Secretary-Treasurer, Vice President and President Elect of the AOA. Prior to serving on the Board of Trustees, he was the Chairman of the AOA State Government Relations Center (SGRC), Oversight Board, AOA Health Care Legislative Committee (HCLC) and the Resolutions Committee and the Legal Defense Fund Oversight committee. Dr. Loomis attended Montana State University and received his optometry degree from Pacific University College of Optometry. Shortly after graduation, he opened a private practice in Littleton, Colorado, now known as Mountain Vista EyeCare where he continues to practice today with his two partners, Kent Yount, O.D., and Tara DeRose, O.D., and associates Mark Kruchen, O.D. and Suzette, Place, O.D. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry. Since entering optometry, Dr. Loomis has been an active leader within the Colorado Optometric Association as well serving as secretary-treasurer and president of the COA. He was appointed to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Southwest Council of Optometry and later became president of the Southwest Council. He has been awarded both Optometrist of the Year and the Distinguished Service Award by the Colorado Optometric Association. He is a past president and board member of the Denver Southwest Rotary Club and became a Paul Harris Fellow in 1990. He was elected to the Board of Elders for Southern Gables Church and has been chair of its board for six years. Dr. Loomis and his wife of 38 years, Kathy, have three adult children and five grandchildren. They live in Roxborough Park, Colo
North American representative
Dr. Paul Geneau graduated from the University of Waterloo School of Optometry in 1981. He first practiced in Invermere, BC, Canada, from 1981 to 1989, and has been located in Nanaimo, BC since then in an independent full-scope multi-doctor practice, Eye Care Nanaimo.
Paul became a councilor on the British Columbia Association of Optometrists in 1992, ultimately serving as President from 1999 to 2001. He became the representative from the BCAO on the Canadian Association of Optometrists Council in 2004, serving as Secretary Treasurer 2009-2011, President Elect 2011-2013, President 2013-2015. He is now the Past-President of the CAO, and a member of the World Council of Optometry Governing Board.
Paul is motivated and inspired by being associated with the people that he has worked with who are engaged in enabling the profession of optometry to be successful and better able to serve the public. He has been similarly stimulated by his membership in Rotary, since 1981, and tries to live by its motto: Service Above Self. Paul was President of the Rotary Club of Nanaimo North in 1996-1997, was an Assistant District Governor from 2002-2005, and is a Paul Harris Fellow Major Donor. He has been deeply involved in the Rotary International Youth Exchange program, and in the work of the Rotary Foundation.
Being attracted to volunteer work, Paul has travelled on over 30 eye care missions with Canadian Vision Care to Jamaica, Costa Rica, and Malawi. He believes that an optometrist is privileged to be able to give the gift of sight, and finds that it is an even more rewarding experience to be able to do so for people in developing countries that are without access to eye and vision care.
Paul has been married to Cathy since 1979. They are very proud of their three children and five grandchildren. They are both deeply committed to their family, and regard Optometry as an extension of that family.
Asia Pacific Representative
Miss Victoria Law graduated in the School of Optometry from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Following a 2-year residency in Vision Rehabilitation. She also received her master of science in Stroke and Clinical Neurosciences from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Miss Law is currently a candidate for a Doctor of Health Science in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. She has served as President of The Hong Kong Society of Professional Optometrists. She was country representative of Asia Pacific Council of Optometry and became a member of executive committee during APOC 2015.
Asia Pacific Representative