An Initiative to Strengthen Advocacy Efforts Worldwide

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International Advisory Committee

Mr. Peter Ackland

CEO, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness – UNITED KINGDOM

Originally trained as a research chemist Peter spent several years working on a variety of research topics in industry and at universities. He then opted for a career change and for the past 25 years he has been engaged in development work within the not for profit sector.

Peter lived in Africa for twelve years working in and managing several different types of development programs, including teacher training, small business development, environmental and agricultural projects and capacity building of disabled people’s organizations.

Working for both Sightsavers and now the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness Peter has been involved with the VISION 2020; The Right to Sight campaign for ten years. Initially he was the Sightsavers regional director for East and Southern Africa and then the Sightsavers Director of Programs. Peter became the CEO of IAPB in February 2009.

Mr. Arnt Holte

President, World Blind Union – NORWAY

Arnt serves as the Vice-Executive Director and International Director of the Norwegian Association of Blind and Partially Sighted (NABP). Arnt has 20 years of senior management experience in planning and running fundraising activities and public awareness campaigns. Previous positions include Marketing Director and Director of Public Awareness for NABP, CEO of the Norwegian Rheumatism Association and Norwegian Multiple Sclerosis Society. Arnt was the WBU 1st VP prior to becoming president in 2012.

Professor Ian Philp

Chief Medical Officer, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals – UNITED KINGDOM

Professor Ian Philp, CBE, MD, FRCP, FFPA (Hon) is Chief Medical Officer Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals and is Honorary Professor of Health Care for Older People at the University of Warwick.

He established the Sheffield Institute for Studies on Ageing which won, for the University of Sheffield, the Queen’s Award for Higher Education in 2000, for research into improving the quality of life of older people.

His research interests are in improving the lives of older people through better assessment and response to their health and care needs (

Professor Philp was the National Clinical Director (“Tsar”) for Older People in the Department of Health from 2000 to 2008, leading the development and implementation of the National Service Framework for Older People. He is currently the Parliamentary spokesperson for the British Geriatrics Society.

His NHS work focusses on cutting the costs of frailty through early intervention in primary care and more effective response to frailty crisis. His Sheffield team won the UK Hospital Doctor of the Year Award (Older People’s category) in 1998.

He has led the development and implementation of innovative teaching methods in undergraduate medicine, multi-professional learning and vocational training in health care. Professor Philp has been an adviser to the World Health Organization and advised governments in many countries on the care of older people.

Dr. Michael Teit Nielsen

Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Strategic Officer, DaneAge – DENMARK

Dr. Michael Teit Nielsen works as the Chief Officer of Advocacy, Strategy and Innovation at DaneAge Association (Ældre Sagen), Copenhagen, Denmark, where he is responsible for the Advocacy Department (staff of 17), development of policies in areas such as pensions, health, housing, etc., development and coordination of business strategy and development of management tools. He is also the main driving force behind the annual report.

DaneAge is an organization for senior citizens, with 640,000 members (30% of the Danish 50+ population), 13,000 volunteers and a staff of 115.

After graduating in 1989 from the Institute of Economics, University of Copenhagen with a PhD in economics, Dr. Teit Nielsen stayed on to carry out research and teaching mathematical economics. During this time he also studied and researched at University of California at Berkeley, USA (1985/86) and at Princeton University, New Jersey, USA (1987/88)

Dr. Teit Nielsen is an external lecturer teaching microeconomics for 2nd year economics undergraduates at the University of Copenhagen, a position he has held since 1990. He is also an external examiner at the Copenhagen Business School; MBA program and subjects in mathematical economics (since June 1991).

Dr. William Li

President and Medical Director, Angiogenesis Foundation – United States

William W. Li is President, Medical Director, and Co-founder of the Angiogenesis Foundation. Dr. Li trained in the lab of Dr. Judah Folkman, pioneer of the angiogenesis field, and has been actively engaged in angiogenesis research and clinical development for 22 years. Under Dr. Li’s leadership, the Foundation has developed a unique social enterprise model based on international collaborations with leading medical academic centers, biopharmaceutical companies, and government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, and the Food and Drug Administration.

As President, Dr. Li has testified and presented before congressional and other government panels on the impact of angiogenesis in healthcare, and lectures widely on angiogenesis-related topics in front of clinical, government, and industry audiences. He is involved in national and international efforts to advance the applications of angiogenesis-based therapeutics across diverse medical fields, including oncology/hematology, cardiology, ophthalmology, vascular surgery, dermatology, and wound care. He has been published in Science, The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, and other leading peer-reviewed medical journals.

Ms. Michelle Sylvanowicz

Global Advocacy Manager, Bayer – GERMANY

Previously with the Angiogenesis Foundation, Ms. Sylvanowicz brings extensive experience in project management and knowledge in oncology and biotechnology.

Ms. Sylvanowicz joined Bayer in January 2013 and has lead and contributed to several comprehensive reports covering age-related macular degeneration (AMD).