The World Council of Optometry (WCO) has appointed Susan J. Chiles as its new managing director.
The non-profit membership association has a mission to support optometrists in promoting eye health and vision care ‘as a human right through advocacy, education, policy development and humanitarian outreach.’
Ms Chiles has worked in corporate marketing, communications, and brand management for more than 20 years.
Most recently she has been the marketing communications manager in the Affiliate Relations and Membership Group at the American Optometric Association (AOA). She is also president of the St. Louis Institute for Association Leadership.
In addition to her Master of Arts qualification in media communications, Ms Chiles earned a certificate in membership management from the American Society of Association Executives centre in Washington, with a three-part focus on membership principles, leadership management and advanced membership.
WCO President, Dr Uduak Udom, said: “We are very pleased to announce this appointment. Susan will bring leadership and creativity to WCO, along with a deep sense of commitment to our profession.”
Ms Chiles has worked with volunteer optometrists at the AOA for the past six years.
As WCO managing director, she will work with the officers, executive committee, and governing board of the WCO in fulfilling its mission to facilitate the development of optometry around the world.
A key component of her new role will be to direct all aspects of the WCO’s relationship with its membership, including recruitment and retention, fiscal management, as well as marketing and communications.
Ms Chiles said: “It is an honour and a privilege to join the WCO and I look forward to continuing to serve optometry in this new role."
The WCO highlights that this is a busy time for the organisation as it is hosting the second World Congress of Optometry in India from 11–13 September 2017.
The Congress is an initiative of the WCO working in partnership with the Asia Pacific Council of Optometry and the India Vision Institute.
The central theme of the meeting is ‘Accessible, Quality Vision and Eye Health,’ that complements the World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan of Universal Eye Health. The plan aims to improve universal access to comprehensive eye care services.
For more information, visit the WCO website.