• The Academy and Foundation are very saddened to learn of the death of David Noonan's wife, Lynn, last Friday, Nov. 5. David and his entire family have our deepest condolences. We will honor David and his achievements at the Orbital Gala as planned, though he will not be present. 

    As the Academy’s former deputy executive vice president, Mr. Noonan has been the backbone of the Academy through times of tremendous growth and has shared his energy and enthusiasm throughout. His loyal service to the Academy is beyond compare, and his dedication to our shared ultimate goal – to better serve our patients – has been a force within the Academy.

    Born in Casper, Wyoming, David knew at an early age that his career would draw him toward the field of medicine. As a student at St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa, and later at the University of Iowa, he pursued this interest by studying health administration.

    Soon after completing his studies, he began his career as associate administrator of Mercy Hospital in Iowa City, and later became the associate coordinator of the Intermountain Regional Medical Program at the College of Medicine in Salt Lake City. He later returned to Iowa City to help lead a similar program within the University of Iowa Regional Medical Program.

    In 1972, Mr. Noonan was recruited by C.M. Kos, MD, then the Academy’s executive secretary-treasurer, to join the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology as its COO. With the move to Rochester, Minnesota, David had found his home, and Academy members have been the beneficiaries ever since.

    He was named deputy executive vice president of the Academy in 1977 and soon thereafter managed the move of Academy headquarters from Rochester to San Francisco. He served the Academy with distinction from 1972 until 2008, ensuring that operations were effectively carried out while facilitating a thriving culture for staff and volunteers. And even since his retirement, he’s been a valued consultant to Academy leaders.

    Although the Academy can point to many achievements in the areas of education, ophthalmic practice, advocacy, ophthalmic relations and philanthropy through his support and leadership, he would probably point with pride to fostering a climate of professional development, enabling staff to expertly help members serve their patients. He was fond of concluding new staff orientation meetings by remarking, “If you can go home each day helping just one member in some way that benefits a patient, you will have a wonderful career at the Academy “

    Mr. Noonan has served as president of the Professional Convention Management Association and as the first chairman of its foundation. He is a fellow of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and a past chair of its foundation. He was recognized for his innovative contributions in the association world as the second recipient of the ASAE's Professional Performance Award, a significant achievement for those who are the top level within their organization but not CEO. He was also inducted into the National Convention Council Hall of Leaders. 

    He will tell you that the recognition he has enjoyed is firmly based on the years of support from Academy leadership and staff and that no honor received, beyond husband and father, is greater than that of being honored as a Life Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology upon his retirement.


    Although it is too late to submit for the Tribute Book, you may still make a gift in honor of Mr. Noonan and he will be notified of ALL gifts made in his honor.  Simply click the link below, choose your gift amount and designation, and add "In Honor of" David Noonan. 

    Make a tribute gift.

    Questions? Contact Tina McGovern at tmcgovern@aao.org or 415.447.0386.