Press Releases

Oct 13, 2021

Foundation Fighting Blindness Appoints Richele Donat, SPHR, as Chief Human Resources Officer

Ms. Donat brings over twenty years of successful human resource leadership experience to the Foundation executive team

Media Contact:
Chris Adams                                                     
Vice President, Marketing & Communications                                                    
cadams@fightingblindness.org                            
(410) 423-0585 

COLUMBIA, Maryland – October 13 , 2021 – The Foundation Fighting Blindness, the world’s leading organization committed to finding treatments and cures for blinding retinal diseases, announces that it has appointed Richele (Rishi) Donat, SPHR, as chief human resources officer, replacing Patricia Dudley who is retiring after serving 15 years at the Foundation. In her new role, Ms. Donat will be responsible for shaping the human resource vision and developing specific strategies to achieve near and long-term organizational goals.

Additionally, Ms. Donat will lead human resource functions, including employee relations and employment law compliance, recruiting, compensation, staff development, training, and diversity. Importantly, Ms. Donat will nurture and continue to build a culture of inclusion, operational excellence, integrity, compassion, innovation, teamwork, and a desire to achieve the mission of the Foundation Fighting Blindness.

Ms. Donat received her undergraduate degree in psychology at Humboldt State University and her Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification.

“I am excited to bring my extensive experience to such an incredible organization like the Foundation,” said Ms. Donat, newly appointed chief human resources officer. “It is an honor to join the Foundation Fighting Blindness community, and I look forward to being part of a team committed to finding treatments and cures for patients affected by blinding diseases.”

Ms. Donat brings over 20 years of broad and extensive human resources experience, including business strategy, performance management, talent acquisition, diversity, inequity, access and inclusion, mergers and acquisitions, compensation, benefits, and HRIS. Most recently, Ms. Donat served as the human services director at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

“We are truly going to miss Pat Dudley but are delighted to welcome Rishi as the newest member of the Foundation team,” said chief executive officer, Ben Yerxa, PhD. “Rishi brings years of valuable experience working closely with employees, recruiting top talent, and creating a winning culture.”

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 $816 million toward its mission of accelerating research for preventing, treating, and curing blindness caused by the entire spectrum of blinding retinal diseases including: retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, and Usher syndrome. Visit FightingBlindness.org for more information.

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