The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery’s (ASCRS) Executive Committee announced that Stephen H. Speares, an accomplished ophthalmology executive, will serve as the society’s next executive director.
Mr. Speares succeeds David Karcher, who is retiring after providing extraordinary leadership to ASCRS for 38 years.
“I am excited to lead ASCRS and build on Dave’s incredible track record of leadership, dedication to ophthalmology and unwavering commitment to those in the profession,” Mr. Speares said in a news release. “As we move into this new era, I look forward to leveraging the society’s founding vision, rooted in innovation, to identify new opportunities to increase the value ASCRS brings to anterior segment surgeons, and the patients they serve."
“After a comprehensive search and interviewing several exceptional candidates, it was clear Steve Speares is the right individual to lead ASCRS during this pivotal time for our society,” Eric Donnenfeld, MD, chair of the ASCRS Executive Search Committee, said in the news release.
Mr. Speares’ expansive career has been squarely focused on ophthalmology. Currently VP, Europe and Middle East with Glaukos, Mr. Speares’ focus has been on sales, operations, market access challenges and emerging technologies. Previously with Alcon, Mr. Speares held a variety of positions during his 18-year tenure, including roles associated with surgical sales and marketing across Alcon's global markets, personnel development, regulatory issues, market access, education and training.
“Steve’s breadth of experience, excellent leadership skills, solid understanding of ophthalmology, and pioneering spirit will take ASCRS to new heights,” said Mr. Karcher. “ASCRS is unique in that its success is due in part to the value our leadership places on relationships. Steve’s leadership style, listening skills, and ability to build successful partnerships will be embraced by key stakeholders including current members, prospective members and industry leaders.”
The selection of Mr. Speares comes several months after Mr. Karcher announced his retirement. Mr. Speares will start April 9, 2018, and Mr. Karcher will remain in an advisory role through the end of the year to ensure a seamless transition.
“As we move into the future, our society is committed to anticipating and responding to the changing needs of anterior segment surgeons,” said Thomas W. Samuelson, MD, incoming president of ASCRS. “We are confident that Steve’s leadership will build member affinity, increase member engagement and accelerate the society’s growth.”