NAEVR is a 501c4 non-profit advocacy organization comprised of a coalition of nearly 50 professional, patient and consumer, and industry organizations involved in eye and vision research. NAEVR’s goal is to achieve the best eye and vision care for all Americans through advocacy and public education for eye and vision research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its NEI, Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and other federal agencies. 

NAEVR was formed in 1997 as an affiliate of the non-profit 501c3 educational foundation Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR), which was founded in 1993 by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), and Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO). Serving as the “Friends of the NEI,” NAEVR/AEVR emphasize that NEI-funded research to save/restore vision has served to reduce healthcare costs, increase productivity, maintain independence, and improve the quality of life for all Americans. NAEVR works closely with regulatory agencies−specifically the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)−to ensure that it is aware of the results of NEI-funded research and how that may affect product approvals. 

NAEVR’s advocacy in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 resulted in:

  • An NIH increase of $2.6 billion and an NEI increase of $28 million. Combined increases from FY2016 through FY2020 reflect a total $11.6 billion NIH increase and $148 million NEI increase over these five fiscal years.
  • $20 million in funding for the Vision Research Program (VRP) within the DOD for eye trauma research.

In September 2016, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released a report sponsored by NAEVR entitled Making Eye Health a Population Health Imperative: Vision for Tomorrow. NAEVR has been using this report to advocate for increased NEI appropriations, as well as a more coordinated federal approach to vision preservation.  

The NAEVR Board of Directors has adopted the attached Diversity Policy.

NAEVR Board of Directors

Paul Lee, MD, JD (University of Michigan) Board President

Steven Feldon, MD, MBA (Flaum Eye Institute/University of Rochester) Secretary

Mark Gordon (Alcon)

Linda Hazlett, PhD (Wayne State University School of Medicine) Vice President

Brian F. Hofland, PhD (Research to Prevent Blindness)

Judy Kim, MD (Medical College of Wisconsin)

Peter McDonnell, MD (Wilmer Eye Institute/Johns Hopkins University)

Bartly Mondino, MD (Jules Stein Eye Institute/UCLA)

Kelly K. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD (University of Alabama at Birmingham)

S. Grace Prakalapakorn, MD, MPH (Duke University)

Rajesh Rajpal, MD (Johnson & Johnson Vision)

Michael Robinson, MD (Allergan, an AbbVie Company)

Iris Rush, CAE (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology)

Gregory Skuta, MD (Dean McGee Eye Institute/University of Oklahoma) Treasurer

Earl L. Smith III, OD, PhD (University of Houston)


NAEVR Executive Director

James Jorkasky

NAEVR Director, Government Relations

David H. Epstein