Since 1998, the Academy's Leadership Development Program has helped identify and develop future leaders of state, subspecialty and specialized interest societies. During the one-year program, class participants learn about leadership, advocacy and association governance. Each class meets in person four times, twice in conjunction with the Academy annual meeting. Participants conclude their time in the program by completing a project in one of 10 key areas.
- 423 participants since 1999.
- 23rd class announced in June 2020.
- 285 participants have served as Academy committee members, Councilors or Academy representatives to outside organizations.
- 28 have served on the Academy’s Board of Trustees or Committee of Secretaries, including 2015 Academy President Russell N. Van Gelder, MD PhD (LDP VI, Class of 2004) and 2018 President Keith D. Carter, MD, FACS (LDP V, Class of 2003) and 2021 President Tamara R. Fountain, MD (LDP I, Class of 1999).
- 251 have served as president of a state, subspecialty or specialized interest ophthalmology society.
The LDP received the Academy’s 2013 Special Recognition Award. In 2001, the LDP won a trophy in the American Society of Association Executives' Gold Circle Awards program for excellence and innovation in association management.
"The program was a true highlight of my career thus far and I am already using skills learned in my new role as (state society) president."
"I believe this program is outstanding and extremely well prepared and useful. I am very impressed with all the speakers, the discussions, the tour, the topics developed, the opportunity to learn so much in a short period of time… And how much fun I’ve had! Keep up the great work! Thank you for the opportunity."
"During that one year [of the LDP program], I underwent a total transformation: I am a much more confident person. I express myself better. I can run meetings more concisely. I know the issues facing Ophthalmology better. This is all thanks to LDP."
How to participate
Each spring, state, subspecialty and specialized interest ophthalmology societies are invited to nominate an ophthalmologist member to participate in the program. In June, about 18 to 20 program participants are selected from the nominations submitted. Ophthalmologists interested in participating should contact their state and/or subspecialty society to learn more.
The Academy recognizes the following industry partners for their collaboration in developing future leaders in ophthalmology:
- Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company (OMIC)