John Barrows

Vice President, Programs


Years Active: 35

Education: MPH, Boston University, Boston, MA, 1989

John Barrows, Vice President for Programs has 35 years professional experience in 32 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. Immediately after college, Mr. Barrows served as the Executive Assistant to the Board of Directors and Executive Director of the Coalition for Barrier Free Living to establish the Houston Center for Independent Living Project, in Houston Texas from 1979-1980.

John Barrows began his public health career as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi, 1981-1984, working on a UNICEF sponsored primary health care and environmental sanitation program. He then joined Save the Children Federation/Malawi as the Health and Nutrition Coordinator and developed a health and development program and initiated SCF’s first USAID funded Child Survival program for nearly three years. After earning his Master of Public Health from Boston University in 1989, Mr. Barrows joined the International Eye Foundation (IEF) as its first Child Survival/Vitamin A Coordinator. He developed and managed IEF’s nutrition and child survival programs in Latin America and Africa. Mr. Barrows was appointed Director of Programs in 1993 and later Vice President, Programs in 2012 and currently manages or oversees all programs including Onchocerciasis Control, Childhood Blindness, IEF’s SightReach® Management program (sustainability planning for eye hospitals and clinics), and SightReach Surgical® (social enterprise). Mr. Barrows contributes working groups on Monitoring and Evaluation, Quality Assurance, Cataract, and Human Resources for Eye Health. He has co-authored 10 articles and one book chapter on vitamin A, nutrition and prevention of blindness, and has multiple presentations on organizational and financial sustainability of eye care programs at international conferences and training programs. In 2001, he received a Human Rights Award from the United Nations Association/National Capital Area, and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, North America Regional Award in 2012.


U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi, 1981-1984, Human Rights Award from the United Nations Association, 2001, International Agency for Prevention of Blindness North America Regional Award, 2012