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Cynthia Bryant Presides Over First Trustee Meeting As Chair

Cynthia Bryant, J.D., LL.M., took up the gavel as the chair of The Seeing Eye’s Board of Trustees at its meeting on March 9, 2023.

Ms. Bryant, who worked for the U.S. government for more than 20 years as a special counsel, is now a mediator, negotiator, and diversity practitioner. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Bradford College, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Kansas, a Master of Laws from American University, and is a three-time graduate of The Seeing Eye.

The resident of Chevy Chase, Maryland, is currently working with a Seeing Eye® dog named Summer, a yellow Labrador/golden retriever cross. They graduated from The Seeing Eye in July 2017. She was matched with her first Seeing Eye dog, a black Labrador/golden retriever cross named Royale, in March 2008, and her second was a black Labrador retriever named Sophia.

“The Seeing Eye has been a part of my life for 15 years now. When I first came to The Seeing Eye, I’d never had a dog before… in fact, I was afraid of dogs,” Ms. Bryant said. “Now I can’t imagine my life without one.”

Ms. Bryant is the first graduate of The Seeing Eye to serve as the Chair of the Board of Trustees. She also is the first person of color to serve as Chair, and is the first woman to serve as Chair since our co-founder, Dorothy Harrison Eustis, held the dual title of Board Chair and President from 1929 to 1940. The first graduate to serve as President & CEO, Dr. James Kutsch Jr., retired in 2019.

Ms. Bryant, who has served on the Board of Trustees since 2011, was elected Chair at The Seeing Eye’s Board of Trustees meeting in December. She succeeded Thomas Duffy, who served as Chair for six years and now serves as an honorary trustee. The Trustee meeting on March 9 was the first of the year.

Ms. Bryant is a former member of the Board of Governors for the University of Kansas Law School and serves on the law school’s Diversity Advisory Council. She is a board member for National Industries for the Blind, and also is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, National Association for Multicultural Education, National Speakers Association, Association for Conflict Resolution, and the African-American Federal Executive Association. Ms. Bryant is a member of the bars of Missouri, the District of Columbia, and the United States Supreme Court.

At its December board meeting, The Seeing Eye also elected as Trustees: Clifford Aaron, an attorney and Seeing Eye graduate; Vivek Sawhney, Chief Information Officer & International Operations for Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.; Susan Sepe, who recently retired as Coordinator of Special Services for the Missouri Rehabilitation Services for the Blind and is a Seeing Eye graduate; and Josh Weston, the former CEO of Automatic Data Processing (ADP).

“It will be a pleasure to continue to work with Cynthia, whom I have known since she joined the Board,” said Dr. Margaret E.L. “Peggi” Howard, The Seeing Eye’s President & CEO, who has served as a Trustee since 2008. “Her experiences as a graduate, as an attorney, and as an executive bring valuable insight, wisdom, and leadership to The Seeing Eye as we head into our 95th anniversary year.”