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: The 2023 applications period closed on 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, FARVO

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


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 Lai, 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

Hans E. Grossniklaus, MD, MBA, FARVO

Section: Anatomy & Pathology/Oncology
Emory University School of Medicine-Emory Eye Center
Atlanta , Georgia
Term: 05/09/2022 - 04/27/2023

Ex Officio

Iris M. Rush, CAE

Executive Director

Manager, Science Communications

Salewa Akintilo