The Fred Hollows Foundation
Ian Wishart is one of Australia’s most experienced international development leaders. He has spent the past 28 years involved in virtually every aspect of aid and human rights including emergency relief operations, long term development and influential policy and advocacy initiatives.
Ian joined The Fred Hollows Foundation as its new CEO on March 5, 2018.
“I am looking forward to being part of the important work of The Fred Hollows Foundation. Working together I am sure we can provide new hope and new lives to many more of those who are needlessly blind in often forgotten places,” said Ian Wishart.
He comes to The Fred Hollows Foundation from Plan International Australia, where he was CEO since 2001. Plan is an international development organisation committed to the advancement of child rights and equality for girls.
Ian led Plan International Australia’s transformation from a $10m operation into a $63m organisation. He also served in the global leadership of the Plan International federation, as both chair of their national CEO team and on their global management committee, and oversaw the organisation’s successful market entry into Hong Kong.
Ian started his development career at World Vision Australia, initially as an emergency relief officer deployed to the major emergency hot spots of the early 1990s. Later, he managed the humanitarian response team before spending three years as World Vision’s Country Director in Laos, after which he served as an advisor to the CEO.
Ian’s country experience is extremely diverse and includes such places as Cambodia, Laos, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, South Sudan and Rwanda.
“In my travels I have so often seen the blind person led by a child to the passing car at the traffic lights or brought out from the village hut by a daughter who cares for them. I always thought there must be a better way to help these people. I am now delighted to be able to continue my life work in the development sector and have the opportunity to help build real solutions for those trapped in poverty by preventable blindness,” said Ian Wishart.
Ian has also been a leader in the sector as a former Vice President and Director of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), the peak council for Australia aid and development organisations.
Ian credits his lifelong passion for international development to his experience of growing up in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea as a teenager in the 1970s.
Ian holds a Science Degree from the Australian National University, a Graduate Diploma in Education from Canberra University and an Executive MBA from Mt Eliza Business School. He is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the AsiaLink Leadership Program.