Brien Holden Humanitarian Award

The American Academy of Optometry is pleased to announce the establishment of the Brien Holden Humanitarian Award to honor the memory and work of Professor Brien Holden, PhD, DSc, FAAO. This award will recognize an individual or organization who has made significant contributions to improve eye care within a country or region. In particular, the award will acknowledge humanitarian efforts in the non-profit/not-for-profit sector that build or support the development of sustainable eye care systems in developing communities.

“This is a wonderful acknowledgement by the Academy, a body that Brien greatly respected and a meeting he enthusiastically attended for around four decades. This award will give important recognition to those people who may not be known globally, but who are making a difference in eye care in their country or region,” said Kovin Naidoo, OD, PhD, FAAO, CEO of the Brien Holden Vision Institute.

Professor Holden founded the Brien Holden Vision Institute and was a global leader in eye care and vision research, internationally renowned and awarded scientist, humanitarian, and a Professor at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of New South Wales in Australia. His career was spent inspiring scientists and health care professionals around the world with his dream of ‘vision for everyone, everywhere.’ Professor Holden was an Academy Life Fellow and a Diplomate in the Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies. He was a Presidents Circle member and an avid supporter of the American Optometric Foundation. Among several Academy awards received, Professor Holden was awarded the Academy's Charles F. Prentice Medal and Lecture at Academy 2014 Denver, the Academy's highest honor.

“The American Academy of Optometry is honored to be given the opportunity to administer this new award that so perfectly reflects Professor Holden’s passion for finding regional and global solutions for vision disparities. This award will help sustain awareness to the continuation of Brien Holden’s legacy and humanitarian contributions,” said Brett G. Bence, OD, FAAO, Immediate Past President of the Academy.

The award, established by the Brien Holden Vision Institute and Holden family estate, will be given annually beginning in 2017. Nominations should include two letters of nomination from Academy Fellows and a CV of the nominee. Nominations are due by April 1, 2017 to HelenV@aaoptom.org.

Past Recipients

2017 - C. Ellis Potter, OD, FAAO