MacArthur Fellows Program

Randolph Whitfield Jr.

Ophthalmologist | Class of 1982

Kensington, Maryland
44 at time of award
Area of Focus
Health Care Delivery
Published August 1, 1982

About Randolph's Work

Randolph Whitfield Jr. is an ophthalmologist based in Kenya who works to develop eye care services in sub-Saharan African countries.

His work in Kenya has been to define the prevalence, causes, and distribution of visual loss among persons dwelling in rural Kenya, to provide eye care to rural dwellers by expanding existing mobile and community eye care facilities in the country, and to train African paramedics to perform eye surgery.  Whitfield has worked in fifteen African countries assisting the development of national eye care programs and has written extensively about eye care and blindness prevention.


Whitfield served as the program director for the Kenya Rural Blindness Prevention Project of the International Eye Foundation and was a senior eye care consultant for Africa at Sightsavers International, the Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind.  He has been affiliated with Operation Eyesight Universal and is a consulting editor for Community Eye Health.  For over twenty-five years, he has been a practicing ophthalmologist in Kenya. 

Whitfield received a B.A. (1960) from Princeton University, an M.Sc. and an M.D. (1965) from the University of Virginia, and completed his Residency in Ophthalmology (1969-72) at the Institute of Ophthalmology, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

Select News Coverage of Randolph Whitfield Jr.
July 7, 1990
"Blindness and Eye Disease in Kenya"
British Journal of Ophthalmology
Randolph Whitfield Jr. , 1982 MacArthur Fellow
October 10, 1987
"Ophthalmology in Kenya"
Arch Ophthalmol
Randolph Whitfield Jr. , 1982 MacArthur Fellow
August 8, 1983
"Education: The Most Happy Fellows"
Randolph Whitfield Jr. , 1982 MacArthur Fellow
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