Ronnie Graham has had an illustrious career as an academic, historian, author, and a development professional. He has performed many roles over the years, but eye health in low and middle income countries has played a central role in his work since the 1980s. He has held several influential positions for various organisations including VSO, Sightsavers and IAPB to name a few. He was elected to serve on the Board of Vision Aid Overseas (VAO) as a trustee in October 2018, having been co-opted since January of the same year. He is currently the Chair of the Programme Committee, offering leadership, strategic direction and good governance to all programme related activities.
Having spent much of his career working towards the realisation of the VISION 2020 initiative and the Global Action Plan, Ronnie is now using his decades of experience to guide VAO to ensure that all activities contribute to the sustainable delivery of universal eye health, by addressing inequalities in eye health services, training eye health service providers, and integrating eye health services into broader health systems.
Ronnie is passionate about positive social change and is particularly interested in the interrelationship between poverty and eye health. For a person with so much experience, he is always open to learning more. He is an avid reader and takes it upon himself to ensure he and his colleagues have the most up to date and rigorous evidence and information to guide decision making with regards to improving eye health. He values knowledge at the grassroots, national and international level.
He is a consummate professional, but he also possesses a sense of humour that can lift morale and bring people closer together. Ronnie is a firm believer in the power of cooperation and takes great pleasure in connecting people to strengthen eye health. He has an impressive network of contacts that he utilises to bring about progress. His work ethic is exemplary and his approach inspiring. Since joining VAO, Ronnie has gone above and beyond his duties as a trustee. He has taken time to guide and develop staff, volunteers and trustees alike. He is not easily fazed and enjoys a challenge.
For these reasons, we believe Ronnie Graham deserves recognition for his contributions to vision excellence.