Stephen H. Speares Named as ASCRS Executive Director
Fairfax, VA – January 10, 2018 – The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery’s (ASCRS) Executive Committee announced today that Stephen H. “Steve” 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 a remarkable 37 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,” said Speares. “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,” he continued.
“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,” said Eric Donnenfeld, MD, chair of the ASCRS Executive Search Committee.
Speares’ expansive career has been squarely focused on ophthalmology. Currently VP, Europe and
Middle East with Glaukos, Speares’ focus has been on sales, operations, market access challenges and
emerging technologies. Previously with Alcon, 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 Karcher. “ASCRS is unique in that its success is due in part to the value our leadership places on relationships,” Karcher continued. “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 Speares comes several months after Karcher announced his impending retirement. Speares will be officially introduced as the new executive director at the ASCRS•ASOA Annual meeting in April; 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.”
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The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery is an international educational society with more than 8,000 members. Its mission is to advance the art and science of ophthalmic surgery and the knowledge and skills of ophthalmic surgeons by providing clinical and practice management education and by working with patients, government and the medical community to promote the delivery and advancement of high-quality eye care. To learn more visit ASCRS.org.
This national executive search was conducted by Leonard Pfeiffer & Company headquartered in Washington, D.C.