Past WCO Presidents
The WCO expresses its deepest appreciation to the following WCO presidents who have served, and continue to serve, over the past 90 years and beyond:
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
Past WCO General Delegate Meetings
Past World Council of Optometry (WCO) General Delegates Meeting locations include:
- May 1998 in Jerusalem, Israel
- May 1999 in Brasilia, Brazil
- June 2000 in Cape Town, South Africa
- May 2001 in Helsinki, Finland
- June 2002 in New Orleans, LA – USA
- March 2003 in Agra, India
- June 2004 in Orlando, FL – USA
- April 2005 in Accra, Ghana
- April 2007 in Mexico City, Mexico
- June 2009 in Melaka, Malaysia
- April 2011 in San Juan, Puerto Rico
- April 2013 in Malaga, Spain
- September 2015 in Medellin, Colombia
We hope you’ll join us this September 2017 in Hyderabad, India!
Changes in Optometry Over the Past 90 Years
Did you know…
- 1927 – World Council of Optometry is formed.
- 1928 – The routine examination concept was introduced.
- 1928 – New York initiates end of apprenticeship licensure.
- 1937 – Pennsylvania introduces bill to define scope of practice in optometry schools.
- 1938 – Plastic contact lenses are introduced.
- 1947 – Optometrists are commissioned in U.S. Army and placed on staff of Veterans Administration Hospitals for first time.
- 1947 – Corneal contact lens of thin plastic is developed and awarded a patent.
- 1948 – Clinical Refraction is published as a landmark text for teaching optometry.
- 1952 – The first National Board exam is given in the U.S.
- 1960 – European Council of Optometry and Optics (ECOO) begins
- 1968 – National Eye Institute was established in the U.S. leading to innovative research used throughout the world.
- 1969 – National Optometric Association was founded advancing minority optometrists and eye care in minority communities.
- 1971 – Bausch & Lomb introduced first hydrogel soft contact lens.
- 1971 – First Diagnostic Pharmaceutical Agent (DPA) Law passed (Rhode Island). Allows optometrists to use ophthalmic drugs for diagnostic purposes.
- 1971 – Non-contact tonometer is developed.
- 1976 – First Therapeutic Pharmaceutical Agent (TPA) Law passed (West Virginia). Allows therapeutic drugs by optometrists.
- 1978 – The Asia Pacific Council of Optometry (APCO) began when International Federation of Asia and Pacific Association of Optometrists was formed.
- 1978 – The Latin American Association of Optometry and Optics was founded.
- 1988 – Pearle Vision Foundation grants funds to organizations seeking cures for Diabetic Retinopathy.
- 1988 – Give the Gift of Sight in-store programs begin with vouchers for free new eyewear in LensCrafters stores across North America.
- 1991 – First Give the Gift of Sight Global Clinic to Costa Rica: 8,600 people helped.
- 1995 – Active optometric involvement in U.S. national research produces results (example: Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Keratoconus Study and Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study).
- 1995 – Israeli government allows optometrists to serve as the primary point of access for all age ranges; but must have children under age of six and adults 60 years and older also seek medical eye exam from ophthalmologist.
- 1998 – First state law allows lasers by optometrists for certain treatment purposes (Oklahoma).
- 1998 – African Council of Optometry (AFCO) is launched.
- 1999 – World Health Organization (WHO) launched global vision initiative, Vision 2020: The Right to Sight to combat avoidable blindness.
- 2000 – New Zealand and Australia have a mutual recognition agreement in which optometrists that are registered in one country may practice in the other upon local compliance.
- 2003 – Community I-Care programs begin in Asia Pacific including its partnership with Croc Festival to provide free vision care & eyewear to children in remote parts of Australia.
- 2005 – The World Council of Optometry adopted the Global Competency-Based Model of Scope of Practice in Optometry, which provides a rational framework for addressing the challenges of professional harmonization.
- 2007 – The U.K. passed a statute granting optometrists independent prescribing privileges – moving them from diagnostic to therapeutic practice.
- 2010 – The U.S. passes national health care legislation designating children’s vision as an essential benefit.
- 2010 – All Japan Optometric and Optical Association developed certification program. No practitioners in Japan will be able to register without possessing the educational background stipulated by the association.
- 2010 – The Middle Eastern Council of Optometry officially becomes the Eastern Mediterranean Council of Optometry (EMCO).