Executive Team

Avril Daly (she/her)
Chief Executive Officer

Avril Daly is CEO of the patient-led global umbrella organisation, Retina International, which represents the voice of charities and foundations concerned with the promotion of retina research and related health policy in 43 countries.

Avril has worked in health policy for rare and common eye disease since 2000 and was CEO of the Irish NGO, Fighting Blindness for eight years. She was Chairperson of Rare Disease Ireland from 2006-2019. In 2009 she was elected to the Board of Directors of Rare Disease Europe – EURORDIS, and is now the President of the organisation.

In 2011 Avril was appointed by the Irish Minister for Health to a steering committee working towards the development of the Irish National Plan for Rare Diseases. The plan was published in 2014. She was appointed to the Irish Clinical Programme for Rare Diseases at the Health Service Executive (HSE) in Ireland in 2014 and was recently appointed to the Rare Disease Technology Review Committee and the National Centre of Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE) to review orphan therapies that fail initial Health Technologies Assessment (HTA) for statutory reimbursement.

Avril has held board positions with the European Patient Forum, The European Platform for Patient Organisation Science and Industry (EPPOSI), the HRCI (formerly Medical Research Charities Group) in Ireland and IPPOSI, the Irish Platform for Patients Organisation Science and industry. She believes that patients have a critical role to play in aiding the development of appropriate interventions from concept to delivery.

Avril holds a Bachelors Degree in Business and International relations, she is affected by Retinitis Pigmentosa.

Black and White Image of our CEO Avril Daly with her hair put up and a soft smile.

Nabin Paudel, Ph.D. (he/him)

Head of Research and Programmes

Nabin Paudel is the Head of Research and Programmes. With a degree in Optometry and Vision Science in both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels and over eight years of research experience, Nabin brings a wealth of knowledge to the team.

Nabin’s previous research work has encompassed a range of themes such as refractive errors, low vision, quality of life and children’s vision. Nabin’s role in the team includes developing and managing global data studies on disease burden and impact, developing patient led focus groups and surveys, engaging with stakeholders and disseminating research findings at national and international conferences.

Nabin also has special interest in science communication, public engagement, philanthropy and mentoring.

Black and white image of our Research and Innovation Manager, Nabin, short-haired posing with his arms crossed and a smile.

Petia Stratieva, MD/Ph.D. (she/her)
Policy Manager

Dr. Petia Stratieva is our Policy Manager at Retina International. She is also the Founder and Chairperson of Retina Bulgaria and a member of the ePAG at ERN-EYE.

Petia is a medical doctor with a specialty in Immunology and holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology. With over 10 years experience in Academic Research and 20 years in the Pharmaceutical Industry in various managerial and multicultural roles and a strong focus on public & governmental affairs, policies implementation, regulatory affairs and people development, Petia offers a wealth of experience to the Retina International team. Her role in the team includes developing and leading policy and advocacy programs for IRDs and AMD, and internal capacity building for their implementation.

Petia is also a passionate patient advocate; Since 2019, Dr. Stratieva has been a member of the European Patient Advocacy Group at the European Reference Network for Rare Eye Diseases – ERN-EYE – and holds the co-chair position. She participates to the work of various steering committees and working with groups like EURORDIS, the ERN-EYE and EPF. The constant generation of collective knowledge and its implementation for shaping policies and regulations, and the power of the competent networking are the best parts of working with the patient-led community.

Her own experience of developing a professional career and following her personal dreams along sight with the progressive vision loss caused by Retinitis pigmentosa, diagnosed at age 25, has brought her to Retina International.

Black and White image of our Policy Manager, Petia, smiling and with her hair down.

Sinéad Stafford (she/her)

Operations Manager

Sinéad is the Operations manager of Retina International. Born and living in Dublin, Sinéad started working in the non-profit sector in a voluntary capacity first with St. Michael’s House & later with The Irish Wheelchair Association before moving on to a full-time position with Concern Worldwide in 2002.

Her most recent role was with Active Retirement Ireland. Sinéad joined ARI in July 2018 as the Finance and Operations Manager. In July 2019 she took on the role of Fundraising Manager. In this role Sinéad assisted with all of Active Retirement Ireland’s fundraising efforts. Her expertise includes fundraising, strategic planning and implementing fundraising strategy in line with the overall organisation strategy. In 2021 Sinéad was promoted to the Digital Skills Programme Manager in this role she supported older people to improve their digital literacy by partnering with multiple stakeholders to deliver a National Programme to increase digital literacy. Previously, Sinéad was Fundraising and Office Manager with Irish Society for Crohn’s and Colitis Disease along with roles at Ronald McDonald House, Sightsavers, ISPCC, Concern Worldwide.

Sinéad has a HDip in Psychotherapy from UCD, a BA in Counselling & Psychotherapy & Higher Certificate in Arts, Clinical Counselling & Psychotherapy from DBS, as well as a Certificate in Counselling skills from NUI Maynooth. Sinéad has a keen interest in mental health awareness and mental health policy.

Outside of the office, Sinéad enjoys going to cinema & music gigs and listening to podcasts. She is happiest with her husband raising their two children in her hometown of Dublin.

A picture of Sinead smiling wearing a scarf and with her hair down

Kelly McVicker (she/her)
Governance and Compliance Manager

Kelly McVicker is the Governance and Compliance Manager for Retina International.

Initially registering Retina International as a charity organisation in Ireland, the role includes ensuring we are compliant with the regulatory requirements for the Charities Regulation Authority, while also establishing good governance and transparency within the organisation.

Having been in the not-for-profit sector for a decade, Kelly joined Retina International’s team as an administrator in 2020 interested in the research and community driven environment that Retina International provided. It is a diverse and engaging community, with the passion from the members creating a positive and dynamic place to work that really feels like you are bringing some form of change.

In her personal life, Kelly is a proud mum to a young daughter. She partakes in varied hobbies from sewing to gaming, but has a fondness for reading books by Terry Pratchett.

A picture of Kelly smiling taking a selfie with her hair down. This picture is in black and white

Ellen Moran, PhD (she/her)

Science Programmes Manager

Dr. Ellen Moran is the Science Manager here at Retina International and a new member of the team. She completed her PhD studies in Translational Rheumatology in 2009. Ellen has also worked as a laboratory-based researcher in Ireland, UK and Australia before transitioning into Research and Programme Management. Ellen has a special interest in Scientific Events, Communication and Medical Writing.

This is a black and white picture of Ellen where she wears her hair down and is smiling
Newsletter Signup

To keep up to date with our news and activities,
please leave your details below

GDPR Compliance Please indicate your consent for Retina International to contact you via the email address listed for the purposes of general alerts and newsletters.