Foundation Fighting Blindness Appoints New Chief Development Officer

COLUMBIA, MD (August 20, 2015) - The Foundation Fighting Blindness, the world’s largest private funder of early-stage research for blinding retinal diseases, has appointed Valerie Navy-Daniels as chief development officer, effective immediately. With more than 20 years of experience in fundraising and communications, Navy-Daniels brings notable expertise to support fundraising and organizational growth for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, an organization leading a new era of scientific research to find preventions, treatments and cures for retinal degenerative diseases.

Navy-Daniels previously served as the regional chief development officer of the American Red Cross of Massachusetts, driving fundraising and communications efforts for one of the world’s largest disaster and recovery organizations. During her time with the American Red Cross, Navy-Daniels led and contributed to efforts to support disaster relief programs around the world, including areas affected by hurricanes Katrina and Sandy and the Haiti and Japan earthquakes.

“I knew I wanted to be a part of this effort when I learned about the people with retinal diseases who were blind, and are now able to see as a result of research that the Foundation Fighting Blindness has helped fund,” Navy-Daniels said. “I’m thrilled to collaborate with the organization, researchers, clinicians and members, and bring new ideas to help motivate the public to be interested, involved and supportive in finding a cure for rare retinal diseases.”

In her role as chief development officer at FFB, Navy-Daniels will be focused on reviewing processes and establishing long-term strategies for continued growth and investment, including an understanding of how new technologies could help find additional cures beyond retinal diseases, such as brain-related diseases.

“Valerie comes to us with a strong passion for service and drive for community action, and we are excited to have her join our organization’s efforts to find a cure for blinding retinal diseases,” said Bill Schmidt, chief executive officer at Foundation Fighting Blindness. “With her expertise and guidance, we look forward to further building the resources, relationships and programs necessary to pioneer scientific advancements in promising areas such as genetics, gene therapy, retinal cell transplantation, neuroprotection and pharmaceutical therapies.”

About Foundation Fighting Blindness

The Foundation Fighting Blindness is a national non-profit organization driving the research that will lead to preventions, treatments and cures for retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and the entire spectrum of retinal diseases that affect more than 10 million Americans. Since 1971, the Foundation has raised nearly $600 million as the leading non-governmental funder of inherited retinal research. Breakthrough Foundation-funded studies using gene therapy have restored significant vision in children and young adults who were previously blind, paving the way for additional clinical trials to treat a variety of retinal diseases. The Foundation also has nearly 50 chapters that provide support, information and resources to affected individuals and their families in communities across the country.  

Original Date: 
Thursday, August 20, 2015