Dr. Mullen brings an exceptional record of experience and leadership relevant to the ABCMO mission from having long been intimately involved in the integration of optometry into health care systems and building interdisciplinary delivery of eye care as demonstrated by his CV (PDF).
A graduate of the University of Virginia who served as an officer in the US Navy prior to entering the Massachusetts College of Optometry, his leadership qualities were so apparent he served as Special Assistant to the President for Clinical Development after graduation. During six years Dr. Mullen transformed the school’s clinical system by establishing interdisciplinary eye clinics at health clinics in the greater Boston area and reaching out to medical institutions.
He was recruited to be founding Executive Director of the Eye Institute in Philadelphia, the then new patient care and clinical education facility of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry from 1976 to 1990 and worked to integrate optometry within regional health systems and develop productive programs with medicine and ophthalmology.
In 1990 Dr. Mullen was recommended to, and selected by, the US Department of Veterans Affairs for appointment as Washington Director of its national Optometry Service, the largest optometry patient care and clinical teaching program in the country. In this position he was the highest ranking optometrist in federal service and worked with members of the US Congress and Executive Branch as well as leaders of medical education across the nation and was responsible for a staff of 260 optometrists at 159 medical facilities with 75 residents and 590 optometry students rotating per year.
In 1996 he was named President of the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago where he led a transformation in its administrative and clinical programs, put the College’s financials on a sound base, created an affiliation with the University of Chicago and expanded student training sites from 9 to 144 sites while improving student retention to 99% before retiring in 2002.
Currently Dr. Mullen is co-founder and President of the American Board of Optometry Specialties that assists in the establishment of residency-based training programs in optometry specialties and their subsequent specialty and subspecialty certifications.