August 20, 2015
2 min read

BHVI board appoints Naidoo interim CEO

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The board of the Brien Holden Vision Institute appointed Kovin Naidoo, OD, MPH, PhD, FAAO, interim chief executive officer following the passing of Brien A. Holden, PhD, DSc, OAM, July 27.

A press release from the Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI) describes Naidoo as “an academic, former anti-apartheid activist and political prisoner, optometrist and an internationally celebrated public health leader. His professional life has been dedicated to delivering eye care to people in need.”

Naidoo is a BHVI board member, director of global programs for the institute’s public health programs and a member of its management group, according to the release. He has served as the head of optometry at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in South Africa and is currently CEO of the African Vision Research Institute and an associate professor of optometry at UKZN.

He is a co-founder of the Clear Vision Optical franchise and has served on numerous board throughout his career, BHVI reports, most recently the board of the Vision Impact Institute.

His many elected and volunteer positions include Africa chair of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, trustee of Vision 2020: Right to Sight, member of the World Council of Optometry governing board and member of the World Health Organization Refractive Error Working Group.

Naidoo is founder and chair of the KwaZulu-National Eye Care Coalition, which is establishing cataract surgical services in the public sector, as well as the South African National Cataract Coalition, the release continued. He was African Optometrist of the Year in 2002 and International Optometrist in 2007.

Naidoo said in the release that the BHVI “is built on the vision, expertise and entrepreneurship of Brien Holden and decades of the talent and foresight of our impressive teams around the world. While we mourn the loss of our beloved leader and friend we are reminded that the goals we collectively set and share, the movement that we began together, that changed the course of our industry’s history and millions of lives, will live on with passion, conviction and commitment to Brien’s legacy and our purpose to see vision for everyone…everywhere.”

The BHVI is “a collective of outstanding governance, astute business people, researchers, public health professionals, and education and technology specialists,” he continued. “Our future, thanks to those teams and the leadership of the institute, is in good hands, as it always has been.”
The institute describes itself as a “nonprofit global scientific, research, innovation, education, licensing and public health organization dedicated to providing creative and advanced solutions to ensure the provision of excellent vision for everyone, everywhere.”

It is a “social enterprise, investing the revenues from its work into creating scientific solutions and developing and delivering eye care and education programs around the world,” according to the release.