The Board of Trustees for the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has appointed Eric Bridges as its new President and CEO beginning April 12, 2023. Bridges brings over two decades of experience leading causes on the national stage that impact people experiencing vision loss.(JVIB)
“We are delighted to bring Eric Bridges to the role of CEO and President of AFB. He brings strong leadership to the organization and a life’s passion and commitment to improving the quality of life and equal access for the millions of individuals who are blind or have low vision,” said AFB Board Chair Debbie Dennis. “In moving AFB’s legacy of collaborative leadership forward, Eric will be a strong advocate for a whole new generation of leaders working together to create a world of no limits.”
Bridges’ professional career grew out of a deep passion advocating on blindness issues. After serving as a Legis Fellow through the Brookings Institute in the U.S. House of Representatives, Bridges took the lead of advocacy and governmental affairs for the American Council of the Blind. It was then that he played an instrumental role in the passage of several landmark legislations like the 21st Century Communications & Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), which has reshaped accessibility in the digital age. He then was elevated to the Director of External Relations & Policy, where he cultivated key relationships across a diverse range of industries.
During his tenure as executive director at ACB, Bridges rolled out a new strategic management operating system, allowing for significant expansion of programs and advocacy. In addition, he was able to grow the organization’s revenue and pull them out of a long-standing deficit that existed prior to him taking on the role as executive director.
“When it comes to significantly improving the lives of people who are blind or have low vision, each one of us has a responsibility to make sure every ounce of our energy yields the greatest momentum for full and equal inclusion in society,” said Bridges. “I’m humbled to spend the next chapter in my life harnessing that energy created each day by AFB’s outstanding professionals and using it to power AFB into the future.”
A native of Iowa, Bridges received his B.A. in Journalism from the University of Iowa. He was also a graduate of the inaugural Business Management Training Program, a partnership between the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and National Industries for the Blind. He currently resides in Arlington, Virginia with his wife Rebecca, two children, and his guide dog Trent.
About the American Foundation for the Blind
Founded in 1921, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit that creates a world of no limits for people who are blind or have low vision. AFB mobilizes leaders, advances understanding, and champions impactful policies and practices using research and data. In addition to publishing the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, the essential professional resource for information about visual impairment in the field, AFB is also the proud steward of the accessible Helen Keller Archive, honoring the legacy of our most famous ambassador. To learn more, visit www.afb.org.