As a Charity, the College Board of Trustees has full legal and fiduciary responsibility for the College, ensuring that the College complies with relevant legislation. Trustees must always act in good faith and have collective accountability.

The Board sets the direction of the College through the strategy, business plans (resources) and by managing risk. The Board delegates some decision making to the College's other committees.

All trustees make a commitment to Nolan’s seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

The Board of Trustees is made up of:

  • 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.

Professor Leon Davies PhD BSc(Hons) FCOptom Prof Cert Med Ret

Immediate Past President, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Council Member – West Midlands

Leon Davies is a registered optometrist and Professor of Optometry & Physiological Optics at Aston University. A Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers, Leon holds fellowships with the College of Optometrists, the American Academy of Optometry, and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Leadership roles at Aston University include Director of Research (2010-17) and Head of the School of Optometry (2016-21). His clinical research is focused on presbyopia and the restoration of ocular accommodation to the ageing eye.

Dr Gillian Rudduck PhD MCOptom DipTp(IP) Higher Cert Glauc

President, 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 a clinical lead at Wirral University Teaching Hospitals.

Professor Irene Ctori PFHEA FCOptom PhD PGDip MSc BSc(Hons)

Vice President, Council Member - London

Irene is an accomplished optometrist with over three decades of experience. She embarked on her journey after graduating from City University in 1994. Beginning in high street community practice, she made significant contributions at Vision Express in Ilford and the Oxford Street store until 2007. Irene then transitioned to a pivotal role as a specialist optometrist at Whipps Cross University Hospital, where she led a fast-track age-related macular degeneration clinic and conducted complex adult, low vision, and paediatric eye examinations.

Dr Aleksandra Mankowska PhD MCOptom

Treasurer, Council Member - Yorkshire and Humber

Aleksandra entered the optometric profession in 2004 after 11 years in the automotive industry. She graduated from Bradford University in 2007 and was awarded a PhD by the same institution in 2013 for a study of blur adaptation in human vision.

Kyla Black BSc MCOptom

Trustee, Chair of the Professional Conduct Committee, Council Member - East Midlands

Kyla graduated from Aston University in 1996. She successfully completed her pre-registration year with Dollond & Aitchison and continued to work for them and, since the merger, Boots Opticians for 27 years. In this time, she has supported and supervised a number of pre-reg optometrists and student dispensing opticians. 

Professor Joy Myint PhD BSc FCOptom Prof Cert LV

Trustee, Optometry Schools Council Representative

Joy is currently Professor, Head of Optometry and Director of Studies at the University of Hertfordshire. She holds several positions within academia, for the College of Optometrists, and within the wider profession. She is the current Chair of Optometry Schools Council, and on the Steering Group for the Sector Partnership for Optical Knowledge and Education (SPOKE). Her area of expertise is visual impairment and has various roles within this specialism, including Paralympic Sport.


Matt Roney MCOptom DipTp(IP) Dip Glauc

Trustee, Council Member – North West

Matt is a Specialist Optometrist working within the Liverpool Hospital Foundation Trust, UK. He specialises predominantly in glaucoma as well as acute ophthalmology. Matt currently holds the College of Optometrists' IP and Higher Certificate in Glaucoma whilst being in the final stages of the Diploma Glaucoma qualification. Matt is also a visiting lecturer and examiner at the University of Hertfordshire for the College of Optometrists' Higher Qualifications in Glaucoma and Independent Prescribing for post-graduate Optometrists.

Hassnain Safdar BSc MCOptom

Trustee, Council Member - East Midlands

Hassnain graduated from Aston University in 2016 and completed his pre-reg with Specsavers in 2017. Since qualifying he has been practicing both in primary and secondary care specialising in cataracts and YAG laser. He is now the Director of an Independent practice in Leicester called Evington Eyecare. He remains involved with local optometric affairs through his current role as Vice Chairman for the Leicestershire and Rutland LOC since 2021.

Professor Kathryn Saunders PhD 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.

Kathryn Trimmer BSc MCOptom DipTp(IP)

Trustee, Council Member - Scotland

Kathryn qualified from Glasgow Caledonian University in 1999 and has worked in Grampian in North East Scotland ever since for both multiple and independent practices. She has supervised pre-registration optometrists in her early career and moved to Professional Services Manager of a large independent group where she mentors and supports optometrists and dispensing opticians at all stages of their career. In this role she has been involved in service development in the practices as well as locally with the Grampian Eye Health Network, where optometry has been the first port of call for all patients with acute eye problems since 2007. She is past Vice-Chair of Grampian AOC, and is an active member of Optometry Scotland which has recently negotiated a new GOS contract for Scotland. She achieved Independent Prescribing status in 2013.

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. 

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.