Karen Petrou.

COLUMBIA, Md.—The Foundation Fighting Blindness, an organization committed to driving the research for treatments and cures for blinding retinal diseases, has announced the appointment of Karen Petrou as board chair, effective July 1, 2024. Petrou succeeds David Brint, who is retiring after eight years of dedicated service, according to the announcement. Petrou's appointment marks a milestone as she becomes the third person to hold the position in the Foundation's 52-year history and is the first female board chair.

"We are thrilled to welcome Karen Petrou as our new board chair," said Jason Menzo, CEO of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. "Karen's extensive experience in both the financial services industry and her deep personal connection to our mission make her the ideal leader to guide us forward. Her strategic vision, combined with her passionate advocacy for those affected by blinding diseases, positions her perfectly to lead the Foundation into a new era of innovation and progress.

"Notably, her work alongside her late husband Basil on HR 3437, the Long-Term Opportunities for Advancing New Studies (LOANS) for Biomedical Research Act, has the potential to advance many more treatments and cures, including those for eye and retinal conditions. I also want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to David Brint for his exceptional leadership and the lasting impact he has made on our organization," Menzo said.

Diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa at 18, Petrou has been a supporter of the Foundation's mission since joining the board in 2006, according to the group. She is the co-founder and managing partner of Federal Financial Analytics, Inc., a firm providing analytical and advisory services on legislative, regulatory, and public-policy issues affecting financial services companies doing business in the U.S. and abroad. She has also been a prominent voice in the financial services industry.

"I am deeply honored to step into the role of board chair for the Foundation Fighting Blindness," said Petrou. "Having witnessed firsthand the transformative work of the Foundation, I am excited to continue building on the incredible progress made under David's leadership. Together, we will accelerate the development of treatments and cures for blinding diseases."

In her new role, Petrou will lead the board and ensure strategic planning and oversight, set high governance standards, and ensure the organization continues to expand revenue channels to drive new milestones and achievements for the mission, according to the organization. She has been serving as executive vice chair of the board since July of 2023, working closely with Brint, the board of directors, and the Foundation's executive team, preparing for her newly appointed role.

"Serving as the board chair for the Foundation Fighting Blindness has been a great honor. I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished and confident that Karen is the perfect successor," said Brint. "Her strategic vision and dedication will undoubtedly propel the Foundation to new heights, and I look forward to supporting her and continuing to be highly engaged as a member of the board."