Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees ensures that we meet our financial and legal responsibilities as a chartered body with charitable status. They work with the Chief Executive to set the College’s strategy and policies.

There are 11 Board members elected by Council:

  • four elected officers
  • six regionally elected Council members
  • one lay Council member

The Board can co-opt up to three additional Trustees, with Council’s approval. Two must be full time members, and the other can be a full member, non-voting member or member of the Lay Advisory Panel.

Dr Mary-Ann Sherratt PhD MCOptom DipGlauc DipTP(IP)

Co-opted Trustee, Chair of the Board of Trustees

Mary-Ann is Clinical Lead for Optometry at the University of the West of England, and part of the multidisciplinary team at Bristol Eye Hospital. A NICE Centre for Guidelines Expert Advisor on Serious Eye Disorders, she represented the College on Optometry Wales for six years, becoming their Clinical Advisor during the formalisation of the Eye Care Plan for Wales. A College representative on the Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning, Mary-Ann is also a past President of the College.


Kyla Black BSc MCOptom

Trustee, Council Member - East Midlands

Originally from Northern Ireland, Kyla graduated from Aston University in 1996 and completed her Pre Reg year with Dollond & Aitchison in 1997. She has worked for both Dollond and Aitchison, and since the merger, Boots Opticians for 22 years. In this time she has supported and supervised a number of pre-reg optometrists and student dispensing opticians.
She has experienced a number of leadership roles within Boots Opticians and is currently Senior Clinical Services Manager working in professional services where her role encompasses all Boots Opticians' practices company-wide. She has a team of 15 optometrists who support professionals and maintain clinical governance. 

Her passions include colleague professional development and bringing change to high street optics with changes in technology, including diagnostic, refractive and innovative ophthalmic products. 


Dr Irene Ctori MCOptom

Trustee, Council Member - London

Irene graduated from City University in 1994. She worked in high street community practice until 2007, mostly in Vision Express, Ilford and then the Oxford Street store. Irene then went on to hold a role as a specialist optometrist at Whipps Cross University Hospital until 2012. This included leading a fast-track age-related macular degeneration clinic; undertaking complex adult and paediatric eye examinations and conducting low vision and diabetic eye assessments.

Irene completed the MSc in Clinical Optometry in 2012 and went on to do her PhD 2012 to 2016. Since then, Irene has been a full-time lecturer at City, University of London. Her main areas of interest and research include the use of OCT in clinical practice, quality of life in low vision and also paediatric optometry. Irene is committed to the future of optometry in the UK and is passionate about promoting optometrists as healthcare professionals.


Colin Davidson BSc (Hons) FCOptom DipTp(IP)

President, Council Member - South East

Colin currently works part-time for the University of Hertfordshire where he is programme lead for independent prescribing. He also works in independent practice in East Sussex, and at Sussex Eye Hospital in Brighton where he works in both A&E and uveitis clinics. He is a senior assessor for the College and an OSCE chief examiner. He is a former member of East Sussex LOC and a current member of the education faculty at the Johnson and Johnson Institute.

Colin was awarded a Diploma in Independent Prescribing Dip TP(IP) in 2011, and Fellowship of the College in 2013.


Professor Leon Davies FCOptom PhD FAAO SFHEA

Vice President, Council Member - West Midlands

Leon Davies is currently Head of Optometry and Professor of Optometry and Physiological Optics at Aston University. He is a past Clinical Editor of Optometry Today, and is currently Editor-in-chief of Optometry in Practice.

Leon was a recipient of the inaugural College of Optometrists Research Fellowship Award and the inaugural Neil Charman Medal for research in optometry, optics and vision science. He is a Fellow of the College of Optometrists and the American Academy of Optometry and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Dr George Anthony Gibson BSc PhD FCOptom

Treasurer, Council Member – North East

Tony left Aston University in 2003 with a 1st Class Honours degree and qualified in 2004. He then returned to Aston University in 2005 to study for a PhD which he gained in 2008. Tony currently works in independent practice in Darlington. He is a committee member of the Durham LOC. 


Dr Rob Hogan BSc PhD MCOptom

Co-opted Trustee, Chair of DOCET

Rob is a Past-President and Treasurer of the College, a founder board member of the European Academy of Optometry & Optics (EAOO), and the Chairman of DOCET. He is the Managing Director of iCare Consulting Ltd. (providing clinical, technical and professional advice and services to the optical sector) and a founding shareholder of STORM.


Andrew Kitchen BSc (Hons) ACMA MBA

Co-opted Lay Trustee

Andrew has worked in international banking for more than 15 years and is currently Finance Director of one of the leading Wealth Management firms in the UK. His first degree was in Finance from Loughborough University and he is a qualified UK Chartered Accountant. He also has an MBA from the London Business School. Andrew has a very keen interest in optometry as a result of historic and ongoing eye problems which have brought him into close contact with the profession.

Professor Edward Mallen BSc PhD MCOptom

Immediate Past President, Council Member - Yorkshire and Humber

Ed graduated in optometry from Aston University in 1998, and completed a PhD at the same institution in 2003. He is now Head of the School of Optometry and Vision Science, and Professor of Physiological Optics at the University of Bradford. He also holds the position of Honorary Professor with the School of Health Professions, Plymouth University, and Visiting Professor at Aston University. Ed was appointed College President in March 2018.

Ed is the Ex Officio of the Education and Standards and Research Committees and the Lay Advisory Panel.


Sheetal Patel BSc (Hons) MCOptom, Dip(Tp)IP PgDipCO FBCLA

Trustee, Council Member - South East

Sheetal currently works as Professional Education & Development Manager UK/IRE for Johnson & Johnson.  She is also an assessor for the College of Optometrists’ Scheme for Registration.

Sheetal qualified as an optometrist from City University, UK and also from University of Waterloo, Canada. She has practised extensively in a number of different environments including independent and multiple practices, hospital optometry and refractive surgery. She has also taught as a visiting clinician at City University and prior to joining Johnson & Johnson in 2013 was a member of the teaching faculty at the Johnson & Johnson Institute. She is a former council member for the BCLA and a former member of Surrey LOC. 

Sheetal was awarded a Diploma in Independent Prescribing in 2012 and a Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Optometry from City University in 2018. 

Her passions include anterior eye conditions, therapeutic management of ocular conditions, contact lenses, integrative health and the empowerment of future optometrists through supporting their development and position as healthcare professionals.


Mark Redhead MA, MBA, FRSA

Lay Trustee, Chair of the Lay Advisory Panel

Mark’s career to date has been in health policy, management and sector development. Following a variety of roles in membership organisations and the NHS, Mark currently is head of system partnerships at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. 

Mark is also chair of a national patient charity, Ehlers-Danlos Support UK, and is keen on working with behaviours - pursuing an interest in coaching, facilitation and group relations. 

As a user of optometry services and a keen supporter of the role colleges play in the development of professions and services, Mark is delighted to join the lay advisory panel.

Dr Gillian Rudduck BSc MSc PhD MCOptom Prof Cert Glau Dip TP (IP)

Trustee, Chair of the Education and Standards Committee, Council Member - North West

Gillian has over 20 years' experience in a wide range of optometry, including primary and secondary care and academia, and currently practices as a consultant optometrist and clinical lead at Wirral University Teaching Hospitals.

Since graduating with a BSc (Hons) Ophthalmic Optics, Gillian has achieved a MSc  in Management Practice and a Doctorate in Philosophy. She holds the College's Professional Certificate in Glaucoma and a qualification in Independent Prescribing.

Gillian has worked with NICE as a guidance committee member and is a CQC specialist advisor. Her work at the College has involved the development of higher qualifications and competency frameworks.


Professor Kathryn Saunders BSc FCOptom

Trustee, Council Member - Northern Ireland

Kathryn Saunders is a Professor of Optometry and Vision Science at Ulster University in Northern Ireland. Her research interests include the development of refractive error in infancy and childhood in typically developing children and in the presence of developmental disability. She has led the Northern Ireland Childhood Errors of Refraction (NICER) study, a large longitudinal epidemiological study of refractive error, for the past 12 years. The NICER study has provided new insight into the prevalence, onset and progression of myopia in modern school age children living in the UK. Kathryn has published over 70 peer-reviewed scientific papers and is actively involved in undergraduate and postgraduate optometry teaching, including leading the College-accredited Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eyecare at Ulster University. In addition to academic and research work, Kathryn remains a practising optometrist with a strong interest in translational research which improves vision care and visual outcomes for people with and without special needs.


Johnathan Waugh BSc MCOptom DipTp (IP)

Trustee, Council Member - Scotland

Johnathan qualified from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2000 and undertook his pre-reg in the hospital eye service at St. Paul's Eye Unit, Liverpool. He then worked as a locum across the UK before working with ASDA Opticians for three years. Returning to the hospital sector in 2005, he was involved with Glaucoma and paediatric care, achieving IP status in 2010.

In 2013, Johnathan joined a small independent practice in Hamilton and in 2018 moved from there to a role with NHS diabetic screening. He still continues with some hospital sessions including pre and post-op cataract assessment at the Golden Jubilee, and is also involved with flu and Covid vaccinations.