"Essilor International Award"

This award recognizes an individual, individuals or organizations for extraordinary international contributions to optometry or international eye care.

Criteria: The American Academy of Optometry - Essilor Award for Outstanding International Contributions to Optometry recognizes an individual(s) or organizations whose direct efforts and contributions have resulted in unquestionably significant and extraordinary advances in optometry and eye care internationally.

Since the Award is only to be made from nominations of truly extraordinary international contributions to optometry or eye care, it will not necessarily be awarded every year. The recipient's contributions should be clearly documented and self-evident, in that the excellence and importance of the contributions have been established and known to the international optometric community.

There are a number of ways in which the contributions might qualify for nomination, such as:

  • Contributions outside of the United States and Canada that have advanced excellence in optometric education and/or eye care in multiple countries; or alternatively in a single country, if the contribution results in a truly dramatic change in that country.
  • Unusual contributions that might be demonstrated through one of many avenues including, but not limited to, research, education, patient care or legislative efforts.
  • Unique contributions resulting in the improvement of eye care internationally, as in the instance of third world countries where the delivery of services could be considered pioneering.


The deadline for nominations is April 1, 2021. Please submit the following by email to Helen Viksnins at HelenV@aaoptom.org.
  • A letter of nomination from an Academy Fellow, explaining why the nominee is particularly deserving of the award for which the nomination has been made.
  • A copy of the CV of the nominee.
  • A letter seconding the nomination from another Academy Fellow

Additional letters of support will not be included in the nomination package.

Past Award Recipients

2020 - Abraham Bromberg, OD, MS, FAAO

2019 - Uduak C. Udom, OD, MPH, FAAO (posthumously)

2018 - Paul E. Berman, OD (posthumously)

2017- Luigi Bilotto, MS, OD, FAAO

2016- Wolfgang Cagnolati, MS, DSc, FAAO

2015- Rajesh Wadhwa, Rajbir Singh Berwal, Lakshmi Shinde, OD, FAAO, Vinod Daniel, Vivek Mendosa

2014- Tone Garaas-Maurdalen

2013- George C. Woo,OD, PhD, FAAO

2012- Olanrewaju Matthew Oriowo, PhD, FAAO

2011- Tom Little

2010- Kovin S. Naidoo, PhD, OD, FAAO

2009- Gullapalli Rao

2008- Feike Grit, FAAO

2007- Hasan Minto

2006- World Council of Optometry

2005- Damien P. Smith, PhD, FAAO

2004- Brien Holden, PhD, FAAO

Photo Credit: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (NEI/NIH)