Mark Lorey joined RestoringVision in June 2023 as its Vice President, Global Programs and Impact. He leads strategy, planning, execution, and evaluation for the programs and impact of RestoringVision across the world.
Mark began his career with Save the Children in Malawi, followed by time living, studying, and working in South Africa, Zambia, and Uganda. He has been a leader in international NGOs for more than 20 years, most recently as Vice President and Partnership Leader for global program strategy, quality, and evidence with World Vision International. He has worked closely with programs and partners in over 70 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East.
Mark currently also serves as Vice Chair of the Firelight Foundation Board of Directors, where he has played a central role in organizational transformation to fulfill Firelight’s commitment to decolonization, diversity, equity, and inclusion. He also chaired Firelight’s recent successful search for a new Executive Director. Learn more about Mark in today’s Staff Q&A!
Why is RestoringVision’s mission important to you?
As someone who would not be able to function without eyeglasses, the transformative power of clear vision is very real to me. RestoringVision’s work leads to life-changing impact that’s both immediate and sustained. For less than $2 per pair, equipping people living in extreme poverty with eyeglasses can lead to remarkable improvements in health, education, livelihoods, safety, and overall well-being. There are very few interventions in international development that can make such a huge difference at such low cost, with such strong potential for rapid scaling across the world.
What do you enjoy most about your work at RestoringVision thus far?
It has been a real privilege to get to know the RestoringVision team – a group of truly committed, very capable people - and our wonderfully diverse, deeply dedicated partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, and the US.
Who inspires you most in life and why?
The person I’ve admired most in my lifetime is Nelson Mandela. I had the pleasure of being in South Africa for the final year of his presidency, and was deeply inspired by his grace, wisdom, and visionary servant leadership. One of my favorite of his insights: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
What are you most looking forward to this year in your role at RestoringVision?
It’s humbling to see that we’re on track to exceed our ambitious goal of reaching 4 million people in 2023 – almost double the number of people reached just two years ago. I’m looking forward to celebrating this with colleagues and partners, developing new partnerships, and working with the RestoringVision team to complete and start implementing our 2024-26 strategy for radically growing our programs and impact in the years ahead.
What do you do in your free time when you’re not solving the global vision crisis?
I love to spend time with my wife (and our teenage daughters, when they’re available!) Our favorite things to do on weekends are coffee dates and hiking and biking the trails near our home in northern Virginia.