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  • Guests of Honor

    2023 Guest of Honor Awardee: Michael W. Brennan, MD

    Awards Committee

    The American Academy of Ophthalmology and Academy President Daniel J. Briceland, MD are pleased to recognize Michael W. Brennan, MD as a guest of honor at AAO 2023.

    We recognize Dr. Brennan for all his hard work and contributions to the Academy. Dr. Brennan served as 2009 Academy president and has been the Academy’s international envoy for many years and serves on the Global Advisors Committee. He has a special gift for motivating and connecting people. While secretary of state affairs between 1997 and 2003, he helped establish the Academy Leadership Development Program (LDP), which prepared state and subspecialty society leaders and created a network of leaders who work together. These connections reach throughout the world through several subsequent international ophthalmology leadership development programs that are modeled on the Academy’s program.

    A graduate of West Point, Dr. Brennan served as a U.S. Army aviator in Vietnam. After receiving a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University, he served as an instructor at West Point and became a finalist in the NASA space-shuttle selection process.

    After turning to medicine, Dr. Brennan earned his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Texas, San Antonio in 1978. He completed his residency in ophthalmology at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio and later served as chief of surgery at Fort Bragg, N.C. From there he joined the Alamance Eye Center in Burlington, N.C., where he enjoyed single-specialty group practice with his partners, staff and patients from 1986 to 2016. He continues to host ophthalmologists from around the world through the Academy’s Rotary Host Program.

    Dr. Brennan is a past president of North Carolina Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons and a member of several international ophthalmology societies. His interests include developing physician leaders and empowering physician organizations. He has conducted leadership programs for many Latin American, European and Middle Eastern countries and collaborates with the sub-Saharan and Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology's leadership development programs. He also directs volunteer physicians who collaborate with a variety of Middle East national medical and surgical specialties to provide continuing medical education and professional development.

    Dr. Brennan and his wife Helen have been active in many professional and civic affairs of their community. They have taught the world of ophthalmology the importance of personal connections and how to work together to achieve a goal — while also having fun.