Board of Trustees
Vision for a Nation’s Trustees are legally responsible for the charity, its assets and activities. They form the Board of Trustees, which is the governing body of Vision for a Nation Foundation.
John Rhodes (Chair)
John is a Director of Stonehage Law Ltd and joined the company in 2008 from Macfarlanes where he was Head of the Private Client Department from 2000 to 2005. John joined Macfarlanes in 1968 and became a partner in 1975. John is a member of STEP and of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law. He is a frequent speaker at conferences, including the Villa D’Este Private Client Forum which he helped devise and chaired for its first five years. John graduated from Jesus College, Cambridge.
James is the Managing Director of Legacy Advisors Ltd, a single family office based in Hong Kong, and is also the Founder of the Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation, which has supported over 170 education initiatives in Mainland China, Hong Kong and West Africa. James has played a leading role in the development of Bring Me A Book Hong Kong, an NGO promoting childhood literacy, and the Feng Zikai Children’s Picture Book Award, which promotes original Chinese language children’s picture books. James has a degree in Behavioural Science from the University of Chicago, and received an Honorary Fellowship from Lingnan University in recognition of his career achievements and contributions to the community.
Catherine is a senior communications, reputation and public affairs expert. In her previous role she was Director of Corporate Affairs for Paddy Power where she was responsible for devising and implementing the corporate and financial communications strategy, including media relations, public affairs and Corporate Responsibility. Prior to that Catherine was a Director at Brunswick Group, the international corporate communications agency. She started her career in the UK Foreign Office where she worked on a range of crisis situations, including post-conflict issues and the Balkans. Catherine has a BA in Modern History from Merton College Oxford and an MA from the Courtauld Institute.
Arnold is a retired former Chief Executive of Ecobank and United Bank for Africa, two of Africa’s leading financial institutions. He previously established and headed Citibank’s Structured and Corporate Finance business in sub-Saharan Africa, and was a partner with Capital Alliance, West Africa’s leading private equity firm. Arnold has led several landmark initiatives and transaction for major South African banks and assisted African companies and governments in accessing financing on the Euromarkets. Arnold holds a first class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Manchester University and an MBA from Manchester Business School.
Alex is founder and Chairman of SandAire, a full service multi-family office. Prior to this he held roles in financial strategic communications and had worked for his family’s long-established insurance business, Provincial Insurance. Alex is a Trustee of the Grosvenor Estate and the Francis C Scott Charitable Trust (the family foundation, which is particularly active in Cumbria, England). He is a Governor of Queen Margaret’s School, York. Alex read Politics Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University and holds an MBA from the International Institute for Management Development, Lausanne.
Paul Tomasic joined the Royal Bank of Canada in November 2014 as Head of Healthcare in Europe. Paul was previously at Citi, where he most recently led their healthcare investment banking in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Working within the healthcare sector since 2000, Paul has also held positions at L.E.K. Consulting (Life Sciences) and UBS’ healthcare team. Paul qualified for the New York State bar having obtained his law degree from the London School of Economics. He also trained as an accountant at Arthur Andersen after having obtained a degree from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business (magna cum laude).
Our UK Management Team is responsible for executing the Foundation’s strategic direction and supporting the implementation of the Rwanda initiative.
Interim Chief Executive
Tony has managed a variety of private, public and not-for-profit organisations having started his career in the British Army and Foreign & Commonwealth Office. He has been part of the founding team of two successful SME start-ups and advised private sector clients including Lockheed Martin, Malawi Mangoes and Insinger de Beaufort. In the international development sector, he has set up Programme teams and offices in Somalia, Lebanon, Sri Lanka and was Head of Programmes for DFID Southern Afghanistan.
Strategy & Communications Director
Sebastian has worked in the non-profit sector for over 9 years. Prior to joining Vision for a Nation, Sebastian coordinated and managed aspects of various international philanthropic initiatives, including the Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation and the Feng Zikai Children’s Picture Book Award in Asia. He was also involved with Adaptive Eyewear, a UK social enterprise that distributed adjustable glasses to development and aid organisations. Sebastian has an MA in Politics from the University of Edinburgh.
Director of Strategic Alliances
Seb has over 17 years’ experience working for the United Nations, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, NGOs and the Department for International Development (DFID).
From 2003 to 2013, Seb worked in various posts across DFID including as Advisor for Education Innovations, Senior Communications Officer and Programme Lead for Vaccines and Innovative Financing.
Seb holds a BA in English Literature from Oxford University and an MA in Development Management from the Open University.
Chief Financial Officer
Peter Desmond is a Chartered Accountant with a broad range of non-profit and commercial experience. Having qualified with Price Waterhouse in 1981 he spent four years in Johannesburg before returning to the UK to take on Senior Finance Executive roles at Mitchell Cotts Freight, the Cooper Estates Group, and Arcadia.
He now runs Growth International, a training and development consultancy supporting small businesses and international NGOs, including interim Finance Director assignments with Tearfund and RedR UK.
Peter graduated from Oxford University and is currently studying for an MA in Globalisation and Development at the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University.
Our Kigali-based team are responsible for the on-the-ground management and implementation of the programme.
Rwanda Country Director
Abdallah has over 8 years’ programme cycle and financial management experience in public health.
From 2010 to 2012 Abdallah worked as Finance and Administration Manager for the Fred Hollows Foundation in Rwanda and Burundi. Prior to this, Abdallah worked for Global Fund Projects in Rwanda.
Abdallah holds an MBA and MA in Public Health from Kampala University.
PEC Education and Training Manager
Pacifique has 6 years' experience in health programmes. From 2009 to 2012 Pacifique worked in a District Hospital as Ophthalmic Clinical Officer and Primary Eye care Trainer. She has also worked as a Nurse in a District Hospital.
Pacifique holds an Advanced Diploma in Clinical Ophthalmology.
Head of Finance and Administration
Evode has over 8 year experience in different industries, including banking and telecommunications. Evode worked as a deputy financial controller at Millicom International Cellular (Tigo Rwanda). Prior to this Evode worked for the Kenya Commercial Bank. Evode hold a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Accounting and he is pursuing professional courses in accounting (ACCA).
Senior PEC Training Supervisor
Joseph has over 40 years of field experience, initially as a general nurse and since 1982 as an Ophthalmic Clinical Officer.
Joseph has worked at Muhimbili University Hospital in Tanzania, Kigali University Hospital and Rwanda Military Hospital. In 2013, Joseph was given a medal by the Rwanda Ophthalmology Society for his contribution to the promotion of eye health in the East African region.
Joseph has a diploma in General Nursing and in Clinical Ophthalmology and a certificate in Community Ophthalmology from Tumaini University in Tanzania.
PEC Trainer and Supervisor
Cyriaca has 16 years’ experience working in health programmes. From 1999 to 2006 she worked as a nurse in different Health Centres across Rwanda. More recently she worked as an Ophthalmic Clinical Officer at the King Faisal Hospital in Kigali.
Cyriaca holds an Advanced Diploma in Clinical Ophthalmology
PEC Trainer and Supervisor
Innocent worked for Umuganga, the Rwandan public health consultancy, as a journalist from 2011 to 2012. Innocent holds an Advanced Diploma in Clinical Ophthalmology from the Kigali Health Institute.
National Coordination Representative
Emile is a qualified communications professional with five years' technical experience in planning, project design, project analysis, implementation and monitoring. He worked for Real Group in the Kigali as Communications Analyst prior to joining Vision for a Nation. Emile holds a BA in Business Computing Technology and Communications from Mount Kenya University and is currently undertaking an MA in NGO Project Management.
National Coordination Representative
Agnes is a qualified Public Health Professional with four years' technical experience in project design, implementation and monitoring. She worked for International Hospital Kampala (International Medical Group) and World Vision International Rwanda prior to joining Vision for a Nation.
Agnes holds a bachelors degree in Public Health from International Health Sciences University.
Marie Ange Uwase
National Coordination Representative
Marie Ange is a global health advocator and researcher. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy with Honours from the University of Rwanda. Marie Ange is actively and voluntarily engaged in various youth-led organisations, including the Rwanda Children Cancer Relief since 2015 and the African Union Students’ Council.
M&E Data Analyst
Chance Pascal has over 7 years’ experience working as a data manager in health centres across Rwanda. Chance holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Institute of Agriculture and Technology of Kibungo.
M&E Data Analyst
Pascal has 2 years’ experience working in health programmes. From 2012 to 2014 he worked as a Data Manager in Health Centres.
Pascal hold a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science from Kigali Independent University (ULK).
Reuben has over 15 years’ experience as a Driver in East African countries. Prior to joining Vision for a Nation, Reuben worked for La Vita (dealers in Forex, international transport and minerals). Reuben holds a certificate in Automobile Mechanics.
John has over 7 years’ experience driving in East African countries. From 2012 to 2013, John worked with Gerry Tourism as a driver and tour guide. Before that, John worked for the International Center for Aids Care and Treatment Programme (ICAP) in Rwanda. John holds a certificate of secondary education and a Diploma in Tour Guiding.
Ezechiel is a valuable member of the team, and maintains the interior and exterior of the Foundation’s Rwanda headquarters. He has over 25 years’ experience in similar positions, and prior to joining the organisation worked at private residences in Rwanda.
Dr Graeme MacKenzie
Graeme MacKenzie, DPhil, was one of the key architects of the Rwanda initiative and has acted as an informal advisor since 2011. Graeme has lectured at the University of Johannesburg, and led the design of the World Bank funded Child Vision Study on variable focus eyewear. He has co-authored publications published in various journals, including Ophthalmology, Optometry and Vision Science and the British Medical Journal. Graeme is currently the Regulatory and Industry Affairs Director at Adlens Ltd.
Dr John Nkurikiye
Dr John Nkurikiye has acted as the charity’s Medical Advisor since 2012. He trained as a comprehensive Ophthalmic Surgeon at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and is a Fellow of the College of Ophthalmologists of South Africa. Dr John is a Consultant Ophthalmologist and Medical Director at Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital and Chairman of the Rwanda Ophthalmology Society.
Marcia Zondervan joined the charity as an advisor in 2015. Marcia worked as an ophthalmic nurse in West and Central Africa for 16 years. She later joined the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, initially as a Research Fellow in 2002 as part of a team evaluating national trachoma programmes in eight countries worldwide. Marcia is now a Lecturer in the Public Health and Eye Care MSc and manages the VISION 2020 LINKS Programme which matches UK training institutions with tertiary higher education institutions overseas (mainly in Africa) to build eye care capacity.