Board of Directors
Paul Metcalf (Chair)
Head of Guide Dog and Rehabilitation Services
Blind Foundation Guide Dogs, New Zealand
Paul Metcalf is Head of Guide Dog Services for the Blind Foundation (New Zealand), having emigrated from the UK in 2009.
Paul’s career within the field of ‘blind welfare’ started in 1980 when helped set up a talking newspaper with a voluntary society in the north east of England. Having trained as a Rehabilitation Worker with the North Regional Association for the Blind, Paul then worked for the local Social Services before joining GDUK at the end of 1988.
Paul has served at a local Councillor and also chaired the Governing Body at the school attended by his three children.
Paul completed his MBA in 2001 at the University of Teesside and was elected to the IGDF Board in 20012 at the Seminar in Paris.
Christine Turc (Vice Chair)
Les Chiens Guides d'Aveugles de L'ouest, France
Christine TURC joined les Chiens Guides d’Aveugles de l’Ouest in July 1995 as Administrative Manager and then became Communication and Fundraising Manager in 2001.
Before entering the guide dog field, Christine managed a temporary workers agency for 5 years in Angers , after 5 years in charge of international statistical studies for the pharmaceutical industry in Paris.
Christine is now Director and CEO for the guide dog school, from the 1st of July 2014, in charge of supervising all activities in the guide dog school from communication and fundraising to breeding, puppy raising and guide dog education and strategic development with the Board.
Christine graduated from a French management school and fluently speaks French, English and Spanish.
She was elected to the IGDF Board at the 2014 Seminar in Tokyo.
Graeme White (Treasurer)
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, Australia
Dr Graeme White is the Chief Executive Officer of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, a Director of Vision2020 Australia, a Director of the Centre for Eye Health; and Director & Treasurer of the Australian & New Zealand Assistance Dog Association. He has also been a member of the IGDF Transition to Standards Task Force.
Previously, Graeme was Chief Executive Officer of Guide Dogs Victoria and Director and Deputy Chair of the International Guide Dog Federation. Prior to that, Graeme spent 35 years in the Australian pharmaceutical, healthcare and optical industries, working for multinational companies such as Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Baxter Healthcare, Smith & Nephew and Sigma Pharmaceutical Wholesale and Ocular Sciences.
Graeme rejoined the Board of IGDF in 2014.
He has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and a PhD in Microbial Genetics.
Chie Executive Officer
Guide Dog Foundation and America's VetDogs, USA
Wells Jones has spent his 40-year career working for not-for-profit organisations that serve people with disabilities. He has served as Chief Executive Officer of the Guide Dog Foundation since 1989, and of America’s VetDogs since 2006. Wells is committed to the accreditation of guide and service dog schools and has been actively involved in advocacy and access issues in support of the right of individuals with disabilities to be accompanied by their guide and service dogs in all places open to the public.
Wells serves on the board of directors of the VisionServe Alliance in the US, and as vice chair and treasurer of the Council of US Dog Guide Schools. He previously served as a member of the boards of directors of Assistance Dogs International and Assistance Dogs North America.
Wells was elected to the IGDF board at the 2016 IGDF Seminar in Hvar, Croatia.
Japan Guide Dog Association, Japan
Kazu Oda is one of the board directors of Japan Guide Dog Association since 2011.
He is currently also the principal of JGDA Guide Dog Trainer’s School. Out of 63 graduates, 45 are currently working at JGDA.
He left Japan Airlines Co, Ltd Group in 2010 after working for 41years. He is very well travelled, and has lived in UK, Singapore and Hong Kong through his career.
He is excited to serve IGDF as a board member and is looking forward to the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020, as it’ll be a great opportunity for the improvement of public awareness of our Guide Dog movement around the world.
Kazu was elected to the IGDF Board at the 2016 IGDF Seminar in Hvar, Croatia.
Director of Mobility Services
Guide Dogs, UK
Steve is the Director of Mobility Services (Deputy CEO) and joined the organisation in July 2013. Mobility Services improve the mobility of people who are blind or partially sighted, enabling them to get out and about on their own terms and play an active role in society. Guide Dogs' research shows that there are some 180,000 blind and partially sighted people in the UK who rarely leave home alone; reaching these people is one of Steve's challenges.
Since 2010, Steve was Director of Operations with Action for Blind People. Prior to this role, he has two decades of experience in the charity and private sector including work as CEO of a young people's charity, chair of a dementia charity and experience of mergers with BUPA and Australian Mutual Provident. In 2009 Steve and his wife applied to do Voluntary Service Overseas and spent a year as volunteers with disability organisations in Rwanda.
Steve was elected to the IGDF board at the 2016 IGDF Seminar in Hvar, Croatia.
Peter van der Heijden
Director of Training and Client services
KNGF Geleidehonden (Royal Dutch Guide Dogs), The Netherlands
Peter was assigned to head the KNGF Royal Dutch Guide Dogs training and client services department in May 2004 and was appointed deputy CEO of this foundation in 2011. Before joining KNGF Geleidehonden he spent the major part of his career as an investment manager for an international development and estate management firm based in London and Amsterdam.
Peter has presented on several innovative topics at past IGDF seminars in London, Paris and Tokyo. During a three year academic MBA he researched several guide dog provider subjects including the organisational structure of training departments, service quality assessment and innovative smartphone concepts for blind and partially sighted people. He is a visiting lecturer at Van Hall University on topics including animals in health care and business development.
Peter was elected to the IGDF board at the 2016 IGDF Seminar in Hvar, Croatia.