Suzanne Gilbert, PhD, MPH
IAPB North America Regional Chair, Seva Foundation
Suzanne S Gilbert, PhD, MPH, is a respected innovator with 40 years’ experience designing and scaling comprehensive, equitable eye care services in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Dr. Gilbert is currently Seva Foundation’s Senior Director for Research & Strategic Opportunities. She is also cofounder of Seva Foundation, which, along with its partners in the Global Sight Initiative Network, has restored sight to more than 5 million people. Since Seva’s founding, Dr. Gilbert has played a variety of roles within the organization, as one of its first volunteers, Executive Director, and Program Director.
She is always looking for innovative ways to bring quality eye care to more people around the world. A social epidemiologist by training, Dr. Gilbert has participated in the design and implementation of landmark community-based studies of the prevalence of blindness and associated factors beginning with a landmark blindness study in Nepal in the early 1980s. She scaled training of ophthalmic personnel worldwide and has built consortia to fast-track innovations in eye care service delivery. This work draws on her experiences in India, which began at age 20, leading to a Fulbright study and work in maternal and child health. Her focus later turned to blindness prevention, thanks to the influence of Seva co-founder Dr. G Venkataswamy of the Aravind Eye Care System.