World Council of Optometry

Our History

The WCO’s originated as the International Optical League (IOL) in Berlin, Germany in 1927. Shortly after, the IOL office moved to London, England. In 1969, the IOL was renamed the International Optometric and Optical League (IOOL) to reflect the evolution of optometry.

In 1995, the organization was renamed the World Council of Optometry (WCO) and in 1997 the office headquarters moved to the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in the United States. From 2008-2015, the College of Optometrists in the United Kingdom hosted the WCO office.

In 2015, the WCO moved to the USA and the American Optometric Association graciously offered to house us in their offices located in St. Louis, Missouri. The past 90 years, the WCO is proud to serve our members and ensure that patient care is at the center of all we do.

Our Logo History

Our Past Presidents

The WCO expresses its deepest appreciation to the following WCO presidents who have served, and continue to serve.

  • Mr. John H. Sutcliffe (UK) 1927-1940
  • Sir William Champness (UK) 1947-1953
  • Mr. George Giles (UK) 1953-1965
  • Mr. Reginald Goode (UK) 1965-1971
  • Mr. George A. Wheatcroft (UK) 1971-1980
  • Dr. David Pickwell (UK) 1980-1986
  • Dr. G. Burt Holmes (USA) 1986-1992
  • Mr. Peter Roost (Switzerland) 1992-1994
  • Dr. Roland Des Crosseillers (Canada) 1994 -1996
  • Mr. Manfred Muller (Germany) 1996-1998
  • Mr. Peter Stevenson (New Zealand) 1998 -2000
  • Dr. Scott Brisbin (Canada) 2000-2002
  • Mr. Damien Smith (Australia) 2002 -2004
  • Professor DD Sheni (SA) 2004-2006
  • Dr. Vic Connors (USA) 2006-2007
  • Mr. Bob Chappell (UK) 2007- 2009
  • Professor George Woo (Hong Kong) 2009-2011
  • Mrs. Tone Garaas – Maudalen (Norway) 2011- 2013
  • Dr. Susan Cooper (Canada) 2013-2015
  • Dr. Uduak Udom (Nigeria) 2015- 2017
  • Dr. Scott Mundle (Canada) 2017-2019