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. 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 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 is currently a candidate for a Masters degree in Public Health at Salus University, Pennsylvania, USA, with expected completion in 2014.
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.
Immediate Past President
Mrs Garaas-Maurdalen, is the immediate past President of the WCO. She qualified as an optometrist in 1976 and has worked as Professional Services Manager at Ciba Vision, Nordic Countries as well as in private practice. She has worked for the School of Optometry in Norway for several years and was until recently the Executive Director of the Norwegian Optometric Association.
Tone’s extensive experience in optometry has been widely recognised by the profession and she has been awarded Fellowship by the American Academy of Optometry and the International Society of Contact Lens Specialists.
Dr Pete 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.
Since 1984, Pete 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.
Pete serves as an administrator in Illinois for the Vision Source Network of Independent Private Practices. Pete 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.
Pete is a North American representative on the Governing Board of the World Council of Optometry and current Treasurer. In 2010 Pete was named as a consultant to Transitions Optical as a professional development advisor, and was elected as a non-executive board member of Optos, Plc. and in 2012 was named as a consultant to Diopsys, Inc.
LRS Committee Chair
Bob trained as an optometrist at City University, London and he works in the UK as a community optometrist.
Bob has a lively interest in optometric professional and political matters. He is a Past President of the College of Optometrists and was also a member of the General Optical Council, the UK regulatory body for optometrists and dispensing opticians, for 25 years.
Involvement in European and international optometry has been as President of the World Council of Optometry and President of the European Council of Optometry and Optics. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Management for the European Diploma in Optometry and Chairman of the Legislation, Registration and Standards Committee of the World Council of Optometry. In 2006 he became a trustee of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and in 2009 a trustee of Sightsavers.
He has a particular interest in the international mutual recognition of qualifications to facilitate the free global movement of professionals. A joint author of the WCO Global Competency Model for optometrists he has also been closely involved in the development of the European Diploma and the ongoing work to recognise prior learning and achievement in Europe.
In the 1995 Queen’s Birthday Honours he was awarded an OBE for services to optometry and in 2001 the degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) was conferred on him by City University, London.
Education 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.
Public Health 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.
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.
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 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.
Dr Cecil Uzoma Nwafor attended various primary schools and finished his secondary school career at the now Army Day Secondary School Onitsha in 1984 where he served variously as Labor prefect and Current Affairs prefect. He proceeded to the now named Abia state University where he studied Optometry graduating in 1991 with O.D (Doctor of Optometry).
Cecil will soon complete an MSc in Vision Science from the University of Benin.
He has experience in orthoptics from his time at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London and St George’s Hospital, London in 2012 and 2013 respectively. He is a Senior Registrar at the Nigerian college of Optometrists
Cecil is a Fellow of the Nigerian Optometric Association (2007), current President of the African Council of Optometry and was previous National Secretary of the Nigerian Optometric Association.
He has been the Editor in chief and publisher of Optometry News Now (Optometry Newsletter) since 2001. Cecil’s awards include: Most Innovative Optometrist 2002 – Nigerian Optometric Association and Outstanding Upcoming Optometrist 2004 – African Council of Optometry. He is a member of several government delegations.
Cecil is married to Uchenna; a Human resources manager and they have three children.
Asia Pacific representative
Prof. Carly Lam is currently Professor of School of Optometry at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She has served as the Head of School from July 2007 to June 2013.
She obtained her PhD from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Bachelor and Master degrees at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.
Prof. Lam has joined The Hong Kong Polytechnic University since 1986. She was the programme leader for the BSc (Hons) in Optometry over 10 years up to 2007; she was the Chairperson of the Departmental Learning and Teaching Committee from 2005 to 2007 and Associate Head of the School from 2006 to 2007.
Her area of specialty in teaching is in paediatric Optometry, eye movement, binocular vision anomalies and vision therapy. She leads a number of teaching and learning projects. She has a long-standing research interest in myopia development and control and she is currently the director of the Centre for Myopia Research at the PolyU. Her other interests include binocular vision management and elderly vision health.
Prof. Lam is a Member of the College of Optometrists (UK) and a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometrists. She is a Member of The Hong Kong Society of Professional Optometrists, Honorary Member of The Association of Private Practice Optometrists. Prof. Lam has been serving as a council member or chairperson for a number of professional societies and government organizations such as the Examination Committee of the Optometrists Board of Hong Kong. Currently, she serves a Member of Supplementary Medical Professions Council in Hong Kong, Other Healthcare Professionals Subgroup of the Steering Committee on Strategic Review on Healthcare Manpower Planning and Professional Development, and the Grant Review Board of the Research Council of the Food and Health Bureau of HKSAR.
Prof. Lam was the External Examiner for the Cambodian Optometry programme of the Southmost Asian Outreach in 1996. In 2005, she was appointed as the teaching consultant at the Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China. She has served as scientific programme organizer for the annual Hong Kong Optometric Conference since 2002 and the bi-annual Asia Pacific Optometric Congress Paper Chair since 2003.
She is currently Governing Board member, Fellowship Committee Chair, member of Education Committee of World Council of Optometry, and Editorial Board Member of Clinical and Experimental Optometry. She is also a Visiting Professor of Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education in Anglia Ruskin University; West China School of Medicine, Sichuan University; Nankai University Eye Hospital and Clinical College of Ophthalmology, Tianjin Medical University and Tianjin Vocational Institute.
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, Vice President of the Asia Pacific Council of Optometry, Board Member of the Fiji Optometrist and Dispensing Optician Board with the Ministry of Health in Fiji.
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.
Julie-Anne is an academic researcher and optometrist with specialist experience working in hospital with children with visual impairment and special needs.
She has a PhD in Vision Science and she is a Lecturer in Optometry at the University of Ulster in the UK. Her research interests concern paediatric vision and the impact of intellectual disability on vision, and she has presented her research at a number of international scientific meetings and in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Julie-Anne lives on the North coast of Northern Ireland but is a frequent traveller as she is active in optometric associations at both national and international levels. She is president of the European Council of Optometry & Optics and is a member of the World Council of Optometry Governing board.
Dipl. Augenoptiker, SBAO, VDCO, ISCLS
Armin Duddek has practiced since 1993 as a contact lens specialist in Zurich. In 1997 he bought the contact lens company Prolens, which was founded in 1959 by the contact lens pioneer Willi Ott. Previously, he worked as an optician in Berlin and Steinhausen, Switzerland.
Armin has been a qualified optician since 1986 and received his optometry training at the Swiss higher technical school for optometry, SHFA.
He has been President of the SBAO (Schweizerischen Berufsverbandes für Augenoptik und Optometrie) since 2001 and the Swiss delegate for ECOO since 2003.
He has been praised for his active contribution to vari¬ous international associations and committees and for introducing the compulsory continuing education for SBAO members.
During his ECOO presidency between 2010-2012, he achieved the return of France as a member, the launch of the Wasem study and he is actively driving forward the accreditation project as well as topics such as Vi¬sion and Driving and Fluorescein. In September 2012, for the first time in ECOO’s history he rewarded 16 students with the European Diploma in Optometry after the University of Applied Science in Olten, Switzerland was fully accredited by ECOO.
In 2012 Armin received the VDCO Op¬tometry Award.
He also writes articles and publications in several journals and holds various lectures and seminars.
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.
Paul was elected as president for the Swedish Optometric Association (Optikerförbundet) in 1996 and also became 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 is now serving as President for the third time.
He became a national delegate to ECOO in 1996 and is now Vice President of the ECOO Executive Committee and has served as a member of the Professional Services Committee for several years. During 2001-03 he formed new statues and working methods for ECOO as part of a working group. In 2006-08 he chaired an ECOO working group focussed 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 Government as delegate of the Swedish National Board for Consumer Complaints, (ARN). From 2011-12 he was a Government delegate of the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education, Department of Quality Assurance, in the matter of quality audit of education program.
As President Paul organises and is responsible for the Swedish annual CET congress (Optometridagarna) which has grown to be the largest professional CET congress in the Scandinavian countries.
Eastern Mediterranean representative
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
Latin America representative
Max Schilling completed his basic and secondary education at the German School in Santiago. In 1986 he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Administration and the title of Ingeniero Comercial from the University of Chile. He has worked as partner of his family company Ópticas Schilling since graduating.
1982 and 1983 he began his career as an optician and contact lens practitioner respectively.
In 2009 Max received the title of optician from the Arturo Prat University.
Max became a member of the board of the Colegio de Ópticos y Optómetras de Chile (Chilean College of Opticians and Optometrists) in the year 2000. From November 2001 to October 2004 he became Vice President of the Chilean College of Opticians and Optometrists and subsequently became President in October 2004 until October 2010. Since 2010 Max has held the title of Vice President of the College.
He has been lobbying for Optometry in Chile since 2003.
Latin America representative
Latin America Representative
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.
North America representative
Timothy T. McMahon, O.D., FAAO graduated from Illinois College of Optometry in 1980, and completed a residency at the Kansas City Veterans Administration Medical Center in 1981.
For the past 30 years Dr. McMahon has been a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and currently holds the rank of Professor of Ophthalmology. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and is a Diplomate in the Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies. He previously served as Chair of the Academy’s Research Committee and Vice Chair of the Academy’s Scientific Program Committee and AOA’s Council on Research.
Dr. McMahon was appointed to the American Optometric Foundation Board in 2002 and served as its treasurer until 2008 when he was elected to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the Academy. He continues to serve on the editorial board for the journals Cornea and Eye and Contact Lens. Recently the National Academies of Practice named him a Distinguished Clinical Fellow.
Dr. McMahon has been an investigator or principal investigator for several NIH and VA funded research projects, including the CLEK Study, where he served on the Executive Committee. From 2001 to 2005 he served on the FDA Ophthalmic Devices Panel. He has published widely and has lectured nationally and internationally. His interests include contact lenses, corneal topography and anterior segment diseases.
North America representative
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.
North America representative
Dr. Richard Wallingford is a past President of the American Optometric Association, serving as the President 2005-2006. He is also the past President of the Maine Optometric Association and past President of the Maine Board of Optometry, serving eleven years by the Governors appointment. Dr. Wallingford served on an AOA committee or board continuously for over 28 years.
Dr. Wallingford is a graduate of the New England College of Optometry and served on their Board of Trustees for over 8 years.
He was previously Treasurer of the World Council of Optometry, and the World Optometry Foundation. He is also the Past President of the Partnership Foundation for Optometric Education.
Dr. Wallingford has been in a private practice, a partnership specializing in contact lenses, and a large OD/MD practice with two ambulatory surgical suites and a Lasik center. All of them in Maine.
He has served on committees for both ARBO& NBEO and has testified at state legislative hearings and federal agencies.
Over the years, Dr. Wallingford has received numerous awards, including the Lifetime Distinguished Service Award from the Maine Optometric Association in 2006.
World Optometry Foundation (WOF) President and observer to the Governing Board