Jun 27, 2024

Karen Petrou Appointed as Board Chair of the Foundation Fighting Blindness

Press Releases

David Brint retires after eight years of distinguished service; Petrou to lead effective July 1, 2024.

COLUMBIA, Maryland June 27, 2024 – The Foundation Fighting Blindness, the driving force in the global development of treatments and cures for blinding diseases, announced today 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.

Petrou’s appointment marks a significant 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,” says 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.”

Karen Petrou, a seasoned leader and advocate, brings a wealth of experience to her new role. Diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa at 18, she has been a passionate supporter of the Foundation’s mission since joining the Board in 2006. Petrou 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, testifying before the U.S. Congress, and has spoken before various U.S. Federal Reserve Banks, the European Central Bank, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the International Monetary Fund, the Clearing House, the Bank Policy Institute, the Institute of International Bankers, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the Japanese Diet, and many other governmental, industry and academic groups.

“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. 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,” says David 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.”

Petrou has also previously served on the boards of various banking organizations and now sits as a director on the board of the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation. Her leadership is anticipated to bring fresh perspectives and continued progress in the fight against blinding diseases.

About the Foundation Fighting Blindness
Established in 1971, the Foundation Fighting Blindness is the world’s leading private funding source for retinal degenerative disease research. The Foundation has raised more than $915 million toward its mission of accelerating research for preventing, treating, and curing blindness caused by the spectrum of blinding retinal diseases including: retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, and Usher syndrome. Visit FightingBlindness.org for more information.


Media Contact:
Chris Adams
Vice President, Marketing & Communications