Db On The Wing

Danielle Bogert: Director, Global Faculty Relations & Clinical Services

December 2018

What kind of people make up the Orbis family? Here we introduce you to Danielle Bogert, Director, Global Faculty Relations & Clinical Services. She has the distinct honor of serving as the longest tenured employee of Orbis International and recently celebrated her 25th year with the organization.

For the past 15 years, Danielle has served as our Global Director of Faculty Relations responsible for overall stewardship of our global network of volunteer medical professionals as well as the coordination and implementation of local partner clinical training.

Danielle is not only our institutional knowledge bank but the heart and soul of the place. Her brand of passion and energy infuses everything she touches.

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Can you spot baby Danielle?

Danielle, or DB, as colleagues fondly refer to her, has worked with every Orbis President & CEO to date (there have been 12), survived 17 supervisors, and supported all 299 DC-10 Flying Eye Hospital projects and every MD-10 project to date, and has traveled to over 30 countries during her professional tenure – oh and would you believe she hates to fly!

To quote Dr. Brian Leonard, long time Orbis board member and one of the few VF with a longer Orbis history than Danielle – “The community of Orbis Volunteer Faculty is our precious icon. More than any other person, Danielle has grown, cultivated and nurtured this resource. She accomplished this feat with skill, wisdom, and energy. Not to mention a truckload of muscle, guts and love”.

Asking Danielle to share Orbis highlights is to ask for a living history of the organization! She has been witness to every significant milestone, from involvement in the very first strategic plan of the organization in 1997 that paved the way to establishing our country offices; shipping the original camera and computer to Cuba in 2000 to establish “e-consultation” or the birth of Cybersight; to the heart-breaking suspension of the Flying Eye Hospital for 13 months after September 11, 2001 to relaunching the program in 2003, where she relocated to Macau for a month to support the orientation of the new team.

Danielle is particularly proud and passionate about our work in Ethiopia. She has been supporting our capacity building efforts in country since day 1, so it was no wonder she travelled to Ethiopia multiple times this past year to help pull off the 20th anniversary Flying Eye Hospital project, reception and the 15th anniversary of the Eye Bank of Ethiopia. The local eye bank staff warmly refer to Danielle as the “grandmother of the eye bank” to which Danielle will always joke “I’m not that old…

I recently met up with Danielle at AAO; amazingly, her vigor, enthusiasm, extraordinary dedication and commitment to the control of avoidable blindness is as fresh as when I met her for the very first time 25 years ago! Danielle has very comprehensive and unique talents. To name a few, she has exceptional memory, excellent interpersonal relationships, technical knowledge, outstanding writing and speaking skills.

Dr. Wondu Alemayehu

First Country Director of Orbis Ethiopia (1998-2009)

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After the last surgery ever on the DC-10 in Trujillo, Peru 2015

There is no hiding the fact that Danielle loves her Volunteer Faculty and they adore her right back! “A true highlight for me was the Orbis VF & Alumni reunion in Los Angeles, in 2016 when we said good bye to the DC-10. Previous Orbis staff, past and present volunteers traveled from around the world, some from as far as Australia, to say goodbye to the aircraft and reunite for a truly special evening. To me, that was proof of the power of our amazing global family, once an Orbite always an Orbite”.

I never take for granted how unique of a job I have to be able to email a partner in Ethiopia, call a VF in India, or take a zoom call with a colleague in Hong Long. We are only as good as our ability to cultivate and sustain relationships, whether that’s internal or external. It’s truly a global privilege to work with such dedicated colleagues and volunteers!

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When we spoke to colleagues who have worked with her extensively a common theme emerged: one of kindness, ferocity and support. She lives the Orbis Values as well plays the role of brand ambassador quite well.

From my first years she has been instrumental in helping me navigate and understand our organization. Her vast knowledge of everything Orbis, her unrelenting passion for our work, and 25 continuous years of unwavering dedication, make Danielle an essential cornerstone of our organization.

Inge Ceunen

Global Director of Human Resources

Mary Lau, Executive Director of Hong Kong, who has worked with Orbis for nearly 20 years as well enthused: “there aren't many Orbis dinosaurs left. Danielle is one of the pillars who has helped shape what Orbis is today. She is Orbis!

While Lene Øverland, Regional Director of Orbis Africa, laughed at the tall order of describing her: “Danielle can make someone beam with happiness. She knows how to get attention, she never steals the show - she creates it - and she lets the light shine on all who deserve it. Danielle, because of her efforts and never dying passion for Orbis she has over and over created magic…growing lettuce in the dessert – so to speak!

We have all come to rely on Danielle, she is part of the fabric of Orbis. Daily she uses her extroverted personality as a force for good, connecting people, and delivering and ideas in the pursuit of our common goals. There is only one Danielle. You will hear her coming, you will feel her presence… during her 25-year career at Orbis she really has changed the way the world sees!