New WCO leadership team announced

Dr Sandra Block will lead as president of the World Council of Optometry, alongside Dr Cindy Tromans as president-elect, between 2023–2025

Dr Sandra Block and Professor Peter Hendicott are wearing formal attire and smiling side-by-side. Dr Block wears the WCO presidential medal which is large, gold, with eye motifs and a navy, maroon and white striped ribbon.

The World Council of Optometry (WCO) has confirmed its new leadership team for the 2023–2025 period.

Dr Sandra S Block, based in the United States, has been named as president, while Dr Cindy Tromans, of the UK, has been elected WCO president-elect, with both serving terms between 2023–2025.

The presidential medal transfer took place at the 4th World Congress of Optometry, held in Melbourne, Australia, where Professor Peter Hendicott completed his term as WCO president.

In a formal headshot image, Dr Sandra Block sits at an angle to the camera and smiles
Dr Sandra Block
Block is professor emeritus at Illinois College of Optometry and has served in a number of positions on the WCO Board since 2015.

Previous leadership roles include co-chair of the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health, and as a global clinical advisor to the Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes programme from 1995–2022.

Women in Optometry recently named Block as a 2023 Theia Award of Excellence winner for leadership in the field.

Commenting on her installation as president of the organisation, Block said: “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve as the president of the World Council of Optometry for the next two years following Professor Hendicott’s and his predecessors’ great leadership.”

“WCO is stronger than ever, leading the profession to be a part of the solution to effect change and improve access to quality, affordable, and equitable eye care,” she continued, adding: “The leadership team looks forward to working to continue to advocate for optometry and our ability to improve visual outcomes.”

Dr Cindy Tromans smiles widely against a white background
Dr Cindy Tromans
Tromans was chair of the WCO legislation, registration and standards committee from 2019–2023.

She has twice served as the president of the European Council of Optometry and Optics, first from 2018–2020, and then from 2021–2022.

Tromans shared: “My vision is that optometrists worldwide will contribute to reduce the burden of eye conditions and vision loss by building on the foundations laid by the World Health Organization and by including optometry in universal health systems.”
Hendicott, from Australia, will now serve the WCO Board of Directors for two years as the immediate past president.

Calling it an “honour” to serve as president of the WCO for the past two years, Hendicott said: “I would like to sincerely thank all my colleagues in optometry worldwide for entrusting me with the role. Particular thanks must go to Professor Sandy Block for her valued teamwork, input, and support. I look forward to WCO’s continued success under her presidency.”

Pictured: Dr Sandra Block and Professor Peter Hendicott at the WCO presidential medal transfer