BrightFocus Foundation Welcomes Three New Board Members
WASHINGTON (August 21, 2023) — Global brain and vision research nonprofit BrightFocus Foundation has appointed three industry leaders to its board of directors: venture capitalist Herbert L. Drayton III; clinician/scientist educator, author, and vision researcher Thomas F. Freddo, OD, PhD; and licensed marriage and family therapist Ann Argabright Seclow.
“We are thrilled to welcome our new board members to BrightFocus Foundation. Their collective dedication to innovation, equity, and improving health across generations is inspiring,” said BrightFocus Foundation President and CEO Stacy Pagos Haller. “Together, we are paving the way for a better future for the millions of people worldwide who are impacted by age-related neurodegenerative diseases that are core to BrightFocus Foundation’s mission.”
Herbert L. Drayton III
Herbert Drayton is managing partner of HI Mark Capital, which invests in early-stage technology companies led by BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, and People of Color] and women in the Southeast, seeking both a financial return as well as a social impact. He has nearly 30 years of experience establishing, buying, and selling businesses in a variety of industries including healthcare, IT, software, and corporate training.
"I am honored to serve as a board member of BrightFocus Foundation and actively champion their vital mission of conquering mind and sight diseases,” Drayton said. “Together, we are catalysts for groundbreaking solutions, fostering a future where every individual can experience life's brilliance without the burden of these formidable challenges.”
Drayton’s extensive board service and community leadership background includes serving as chair of the board of directors for Coastal Community Foundation, the largest community foundation in South Carolina, and Palmetto Goodwill.
Thomas F. Freddo, OD, PhD
Dr. Thomas Freddo is a clinician/scientist educator, author, and researcher in the areas of glaucoma and other vision diseases.
He completed his BA at the University of Connecticut, OD degree at the Massachusetts College of Optometry, and PhD at Boston University School of Medicine, where he also completed fellowship training in surgical ophthalmic pathology. He served for 25 years as professor of ophthalmology, pathology, and anatomy at Boston University School of Medicine. During this time, he maintained a part-time, clinical practice in the Department of Ophthalmology and directed the Surgical Eye Pathology Service. At Boston Medical Center, Dr. Freddo also directed NIH-funded research programs in anterior uveitis and glaucoma. He also received several grants from BrightFocus Foundation’s National Glaucoma Research program. He then served as professor and director of the School of Optometry at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.
“My career has been dedicated to improving understanding of the eye and discovering new avenues for potential treatments of vision diseases like glaucoma,” Dr. Freddo said. “Some of my earliest research was made possible by grants from National Glaucoma Research (NGR) at BrightFocus. Later, serving as a longstanding member of the NGR Scientific Review Committee, I took great pride in having helped promote and recommend funding for innovative, cutting-edge research in glaucoma. I look forward to continuing to advance the crucial mission of BrightFocus in my new role as a board member."
Ann Argabright Seclow
Ann Argabright Seclow is a licensed marriage and family therapist who helps patients learn to navigate our complex healthcare system, empowering them to advocate for their right to obtain positive mental and cognitive health outcomes.
Before becoming a therapist, Seclow worked as a professional marketer for 17 years and as a fundraiser for education nonprofits for 10 years. Her work experience includes leading advertising teams in developing campaigns and raising funds to support education equality through non-profit organizations.
“BrightFocus supports breakthrough research that is giving people with diseases of mind and sight a chance for prevention and early treatment. I have personally benefited from the results of research BrightFocus has funded. I could not be more honored to be of service to this organization and its important mission,” she said.
About BrightFocus Foundation
BrightFocus Foundation is a premier global nonprofit funder of research to defeat Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. Through its flagship research programs — Alzheimer’s Disease Research, National Glaucoma Research, and Macular Degeneration Research — the Foundation has awarded nearly $290 million in groundbreaking research funding over the past 50 years and shares the latest research findings, expert information, and resources to empower the millions impacted by these devastating diseases. Learn more at brightfocus.org.