Karen Osborn will join the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) as CEO at the end of July 2016. Karen has a strong background in developing both strategy and services for people with visual impairments, having spent the past nine years as CEO for Kent Association for the Blind.
Commenting on the appointment, Chair of the IGA, Keith Barton says, “Karen stood out in a competitive field as our unanimous choice to lead the IGA. She has an exceptional record of working with other charities, and we were impressed by her enthusiasm and ideas for the IGA. She has the experience, charisma and strategic outlook to take service provision forward and to enhance our role as a research funder”.
Karen’s career is firmly rooted in supporting people with complex physical and mental health needs. Having started as a residential worker with MIND, she has since managed rehabilitation and therapeutic services for people with a range of physical, sensory, learning disability and mental health needs at Thrive, and directed volunteer and housing support for a disability charity in London.
Karen said of her appointment, “I’m delighted to be joining the IGA and I’m looking forward to the challenge of implementing the new strategy and taking glaucoma services and research to the next level”.
Current CEO Russell Young retires in July having led the organisation for the last three years. Formerly from the pharmaceutical industry, Russell has spent much of his career working with health care professionals and patients focussed on improving glaucoma treatment and care. In his words, “I was fortunate to have been introduced to glaucoma by Mr Pitts Crick, an inspirational teacher and Consultant Ophthalmologist at Kings College Hospital, London, who also founded the International Glaucoma Association”.
The International Glaucoma Association is the charity for people with glaucoma. Established over 40 years ago, it raises awareness, promotes research related to early diagnosis and treatment, and provides support to patients and all those who care for them. In addition it also part funds the IGA Professor of Ophthalmology for Glaucoma and Allied Studies, Professor David Garway-Heath, at UCL and Moorfields Eye Hospital, London. Other services include: a helpline, patient information, patient support groups, events for professionals and patients, as well as providing grants for research funding. It is run by a board of trustees which represents ophthalmologists, optometrists, ophthalmic nurses and people with glaucoma