ARVO 2024-2027 Strategic Plan


Executive Summary

The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) held a strategic planning retreat with a diverse group of members in New Orleans, La., on April 28, 2023. The goal was to explore key areas identified by the membership and ARVO’s leadership as essential for the organization over the next four years (2024 - 2027).

These areas of focus include Global Strategy, Recruitment and Retention of Members-in-Training (MITs), building an intentional Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEI&A) strategy, and enhancing Advocacy and Outreach strategies to influence funding mechanisms. Discussion led to the understanding that the Annual Meeting is our main channel for engagement. Members need more awareness of ARVO’s programs and services throughout the year bringing continuous scientific and career development opportunities to our global community.

We believe that by focusing on these areas, ARVO can make the biggest impact in the professional lives of our members as we continue our commitment of advancing research worldwide into understanding the visual system and preventing, treating and curing its disorders.

Mission statement

The ARVO mission statement remains unchanged:

    • ARVO advances research worldwide in understanding the visual system and preventing, treating and curing its disorders.

This statement holds strong today in describing the commitment of ARVO’s leadership in ensuring a future which includes collaborative, impactful, highest-quality eye and vision research.

Focus Areas of the Strategic Plan

I: Global Position and Strategy

Goal: Enhance equitable opportunities to share and exchange advances in science, create learning and networking opportunities and increase year-round member value that is accessible worldwide.

  • Re-enforce our commitment as an international association with global representation
  • With 50% of ARVO members from outside the U.S., the organization commits to create programs and services of value to a global membership on a year-round basis
  • ARVO’s overall objective is to be an equitable, accessible, globally engaged organization

Areas to consider when carrying out objectives:

    • Facilitate research collaborations, mentorship, career development, and learning opportunities that are equitable and accessible globally
    • Identify gaps to create and enhance new opportunities to better meet the diverse needs of a global membership
    • Establish opportunities to showcase advances in research in different regions of the world
    • Explore International Chapter Affiliate structure and its influence on global membership development and value
    • Explore presence through global partnerships with like organizations that may enhance ARVO’s mission through collaboration
    • Explore technologies that may enhance engagement opportunities for members


II: MIT Recruitment and Retention

Goal: Maximize member benefits and value for the MIT category to enhance opportunities for development and encourage longevity within ARVO.

  • Create immediate impact by focusing on the needs of new and existing MITs, a sizeable portion of our membership
  • Pursue additional value in member offerings to serve early to mid-career basic and clinician scientists
  • Explore existing and new benefits
  • Redefine the MIT category to meet the needs of this growing group of professionals
  • ARVO will support broader, more collaborative efforts to engage a greater number of diverse students in careers in science and research

Areas to consider when carrying out objectives:

    • Explore existing member benefits for MITs and potential new benefits that provide opportunity for influence as future leaders
    • Explore opportunities for MITs to participate in developing and executing content
    • Utilizing a working group, explore the definition of the MIT category for consideration of updating or creating a new category(s)
III: DEI&A Strategy

Goal: Communicate and Deliver on ARVO’s DEI&A Initiatives.

  • ARVO is committed to breaking down barriers to participation and representation at all levels of the organization
  • While DEI&A (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility) can mean different things in different parts of the globe, ARVO commits to the continual and intentional pursuit to be an inclusive and equitable organization through specific strategies and goals

Areas to consider when carrying out objectives:

    • Develop programs targeted to underrepresented groups
    • Expand the Global Mentorship Program and ensure equal opportunity is provided for all members
    • Explore ways to encourage participation by all groups in ARVO’s leadership
    • Explore accessibility through all programs and services
    • Provide reporting of committee and volunteer leadership to ensure DEI&A
    • Explore ways to raise awareness and influence the next generations of eye and vision scientists


IV: Advocacy and Outreach

Goal: Increase funding for eye and vision research and provide learning opportunities to increase individual advocacy influence.

  • Increase funding for vision research worldwide, and to keep pace with other disease research funding
  • Identify the appropriate agencies with whom to engage and train international members in the process of research funding advocacy
  • Explore how ARVO can collaborate more effectively with other organizations to raise the profile and awareness for vision research and blinding disorders

Areas to consider when carrying out objectives:

    • Re-evaluate U.S. lobbying strategy
    • Explore ways to influence funding in countries outside the U.S.
    • Explore collaborations with like organizations to expand our influence for funding
    • Explore advocacy education and training opportunities


The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) was founded in 1928 in Washington, DC, by a group of 73 ophthalmologists.

ARVO is the largest and most respected eye and vision research organization in the world. The Association's membership today numbers more than 10,000 and continues to grow. Some 50% of members reside in over 75 countries outside the U.S. The membership is multidisciplinary and consists of both clinical and basic researchers.

The ARVO Foundation for Eye Research, established in 2001, funds novel research, education and outreach initiatives of ARVO. The mission is to serve as a global catalyst for innovation, workforce development and collaboration in the field of vision research. Funds raised from corporate grants, fundraising events and the generosity of ARVO members help to support the next generation of eye and vision researchers.

Plan Timeline

The timeline of the ARVO (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology) strategic plan creation was a meticulous and collaborative process that spanned several months. It began with member surveys to gather data and create a starting point to determine the strategic focus areas. Individual interviews were then conducted with various stakeholders to drill down a little further on key points. Following the 2023 ARVO Annual Meeting a 2-day stakeholder meeting was held to explore objectives and strategies surrounding the strategic focus areas. Based on this research, a draft strategic plan was developed, which underwent multiple rounds of review for feedback and refinement. The draft plan was sent to ARVO members for their feedback. After careful consideration and review by the ARVO board, the final strategic plan was approved, outlining a visionary roadmap for advancing eye and vision research and strengthening the organization over the next four years.

Strategic Goals

ARVO has set ambitious strategic goals for 2027 to advance its mission in vision and ophthalmology further. The first goal is to enhance global engagement by expanding collaborations and partnerships with researchers, institutions, and organizations worldwide. By fostering international collaboration and knowledge sharing, ARVO aims to promote the exchange of ideas and accelerate scientific advancements in the field. The second goal focuses on maximizing MIT (Members-in-Training) recruitment and retention. ARVO aims to provide robust support and resources for early-career researchers, creating an inclusive and nurturing environment that encourages their professional growth and development. The third goal is to effectively communicate and deliver on ARVO's diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEI&A) initiatives. ARVO strives to foster a diverse and inclusive scientific community, ensuring equitable opportunities for all members and promoting representation across all dimensions of diversity. Lastly, ARVO aims to increase funding for vision research. By actively seeking funding opportunities, advocating for increased investment in vision research, and collaborating with funding agencies and policymakers, ARVO endeavors to secure more resources to drive innovation and address critical gaps in our understanding of vision and eye health. These strategic goals reflect ARVO's commitment to advancing vision science and improving eye health on a global scale.


ARVO is steadfast in its commitment to a strategic plan encompassing vital focus areas: Global position and strategy, MIT recruitment and retention, DEI&A strategy, and Advocacy and Outreach.

ARVO's strategic plan is a roadmap for the future, reflecting its unwavering commitment to excellence in research, diversity and inclusivity. Through these focus areas, ARVO will continue to lead the way in advancing vision and ophthalmic research while fostering an inclusive, equitable, and impactful community. Together, we will shape a brighter future for vision science and eye health.