News Releases

May 24, 2017

Media contact: Leigh DeLozier, 404-778-3711;

Karla Ruggiero Joins Emory Eye Center as Development Director

(ATLANTA) – Emory Eye Center is pleased to welcome Karla Ruggiero as director of Development. Ruggiero comes to the Eye Center with extensive development and stewardship experience in higher education and healthcare settings. Her most recent position was associate director of stewardship and annual fund for Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

Karla Ruggiero, Director of Development
Karla Ruggiero, Dir., Development

“I’ve been fascinated with philanthropy since I was a graduate student and was required to take a philanthropy class because of my tight schedule,” Ruggiero says. “This class piqued my interest in development and intrigued me about the donor’s passion and interest to give to an organization.

“As a development officer, I get to hear donors’ stories and the difference they want to make for others, and I get to share the organization’s story and commitment to others,” she continues. “I’m a successful development officer when interests align to create opportunities for both the donor and the institution, such as the Emory Eye Center.”

Previously, Ruggiero helped donors make those connections while working for the Arthritis Foundation’s National Office in Atlanta. She filled a variety of roles during her nine years there: development director, manager of cultivation and stewardship, manager of membership and the mid-level donor program, and manager of customer service and direct marketing.

She also spent nine years at Georgia Institute of Technology, where her roles included director of academic relations and manager of student programs.

Ruggiero learned about ophthalmology through the Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI), where she first served as business development director and later was part of the development team. Knowing how vision-related work impacts individuals and their families contributed to her joining Emory Eye Center.

“I like being back in the ophthalmology world because it reminds me how precious my sight is and how easily something can happen to my eyes and change so many things,” Ruggiero says. “This is the essence of why I raise money – to make a difference in the lives of others. In this case, that means providing access to eye care and supporting the Eye Center’s research. I’m thrilled to be working in a place that does both.”

“We are very happy to have Karla join the Emory Eye Center team,” adds Allen D. Beck, MD, interim chair of ophthalmology and interim director of Emory Eye Center. “Our work is not possible without the gifts of individuals and groups who provide vital assistance to our mission of preserving and improving vision.”

To learn about ways you can support Emory Eye Center’s work, contact Ruggiero by email ( or phone (404-778-4121).


The Emory Eye Center has long been a clinical, scientific and academic leader for eye care. Ophthalmologists, optometrists and other eye care professionals treat individuals of all ages who need care ranging from general examinations to treatment of complex disorders. Scientists at Emory Eye Center are researching the causes of and improved treatments for macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, genetic eye diseases and more. Innovative treatments, groundbreaking research and personalized care have earned Emory Eye Center the respect of patients and providers alike. To learn more, visit


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