Advocacy and Outreach Committee



Under the direction of the Board of Trustees, the Advocacy and Outreach Committee (AOC) develops and implements activities that influence research policy and funding decisions globally; increases members’ interest and ability to educate the public and policymakers about the importance of vision research; increases public awareness of ARVO and vision research; and establishes ARVO as a trusted source of information. In addition, the AOC assists ARVO in responding to scientific content of policy discussions relating to research guidelines worldwide. The Committee consists of a mix of MDs and PhDs and should also have strong international representation, including at least two Members-in-Training.



  • Works with ARVO staff to review and recommend policies impacting eye and vision research funding internationally.
  • Works with ARVO staff to respond to issues in science and vision-research related policy areas and science funding, where advice of experts is requested from legislative or regulatory offices in the U.S. and other countries.
  • Works with ARVO staff to develop initiatives and activities to support members’ capacity to educate and inform external audiences and advocate on behalf of vision research.
  • Works with ARVO staff on U.S. and international press and media activities related to science and vision research topics.
  • Reviews and selects Science Communication Training Fellowship participants
  • Reviews and selects honorees for Advocacy Awards—Achievements in Eye and Vision Advocacy Award and Emerging Advocate Award
  • Sponsors Annual Meeting workshops and reviews publications.
  • Provides a committee report to the Board of Trustees at its regular meetings.





The Committee as a whole meets during the ARVO Annual Meeting and conducts business via ARVOConnect, e-mail and, if needed, by conference call during the year. Sub-committees meet at least once during the year via conference call or more as projects dictate. 


How to Apply: Applications will be accepted Dec. 5, 2022 - Jan. 11, 2023

To be considered for membership on the Committee, please submit an online application consisting of an application statement, plus detail of past ARVO service and/or experience. It is recommended that individuals:

    • Invest time in their application
    • Make sure their member information is updated and accurate in ARVOConnect

The ARVO President-elect will make appointments in February/March for the term beginning in May 2022 (additional details will be announced at a later date).



Stephanie Watson, MBBS, FRANZCO, PhD

Section: Cornea
Save Sight Institute, University of Sydney
Sydney , Australia
Term: 05/07/2021 - 04/27/2023

Chair-elect (2022-2023)

Kevin Chan, PhD

Section: Visual Neuroscience
New York University School of Medicine
New York , N.Y.
Term: 05/07/2021 - 05/09/2024


Van Lansingh, MD, PhD

Section: Clinical/Epidemiologic Research
Help See Me
Weston , Fl.
Term: 05/07/2020 - 04/27/2023


Ruanne Vent-Schmidt, MSc, PhD
MSc, PhD

Clinical/Epidemiologic Research
Canadian National Institute for the Blind
New Westminster , Canada
Term: 05/07/2020 - 04/27/2023


Helen/Haihan Jiao, PhD

Section: Immunology/Microbiology
University of Melbourne
Melbourne , Australia
Term: 05/07/2021 - 04/27/2024


Jarrod Harman, PhD

Section: Retina
Harvard Medical School & Boston Children's Hospital - Depts. of Ophthalmology
Boston , Mass.
Term: 05/07/2021 - 04/27/2024


Erika Eggers, PhD

Section: Immunology & Microbiology
University of Arizona - Dept. of Physiology and Biomedical Engineering
Tucson , Ariz.
Term: 05/07/2021 - 04/27/2024

Thomas Johnson, III, MD, PhD

Section: Glaucoma
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore , Md.
Term: 05/17/2022 - 05/30/2025

Arathy Kartha, PhD

Section: Visual Psychophysics/Physiological Optics
Wilmer Eye Institute
Baltimore , Md.
Term: 05/17/2022 - 05/30/2025

Whitney Stuard, PhD

Section: Cornea
UT Southwestern
Dallas , Tex.
Term: 05172022 - 05/30/2025

Michael James Gilhooley, MB, PhD, FRCOphth

Section: Eye Movements/Strabismus/Amblyopia/Neuro Ophthalmology
University College London & Moorfields Eye Hospital
, United Kingdom
Term: 05/17/2022 - 05/30/2025

Trustee Liaison

Andrew Taylor, PhD, FARVO

Boston University School of Medicine
Boston , Mass.
Term: 05/02/2019 - 05/30/2024

Executive Vice President

J. Mark Petrash, PhD, FARVO

Section: Lens
University of Colorado
Boulder , Colo.
Term: 05/20/2022 - 05/31/2027

Ex Officio

Maureen G. Maguire, PhD, FARVO

Section: Clinical/Epidemiologic Research
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia , Penn.
Term: 05/07/2021 - 05/09/2022

Ex Officio

Iris M. Rush, CAE

Executive Director

Manager, Science Communications

Salewa Akintilo