John M. Rafferty joined CNIB in March, 2009 as the organization’s eighth president and CEO. Since then, he’s been a catalyst for change and for the modernization of one of Canada’s oldest charities.
John was the driving force behind CNIB’s strategic plan, The Path to Change. In 2013, he led the largest consultation process in CNIB’s history, where we reached out to more than a thousand people in Canada’s vision loss community. Through this extensive process, we heard that rehabilitation therapy after vision loss must be integrated within the continuum of health care, and that people shouldn’t have to rely on a charity for the care they need. As a result, John led the launch of The Path to Change, and in the coming years will work to collaborate with provincial governments to integrate post-vision loss rehabilitation therapy into the health care system. John will also be working to refocus CNIB’s charitable role to focus on things that can enhance the quality of someone’s life after they’ve lost their sight, and on creating a more inclusive society.
John is a member of the C.D. Howe Institute’s Health Policy Council, serves on the Board of Directors for Accessible Media Inc., and is the Chair of Vision 2020 Canada, a national initiative that seeks to eliminate the main causes of avoidable blindness. In 2012, he earned the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, which honours significant contributions and achievements by Canadians to their community.
John has been married for more than 25 years, and together he and his wife have two amazing daughters who are both in their twenties. He loves to hike, golf and play tennis. He’s a lifelong rugby fan, and commentates games on local broadcast networks in his spare time.