Jon Hymes

Jon HymesJon Hymes, an experienced association executive and health care policy and political strategist, was appointed executive director of the 36,000-member American Optometric Association (AOA) on July 29, 2014. 

Over a 25-year career in Washington, D.C., Hymes has held senior-level policy and management positions on Capitol Hill, in Congressional campaigns and in the private sector. For nine years, he managed the AOA's Washington, D.C., office, the base of operations for its widely recognized federal, state and third-party advocacy teams.

Hymes joined the AOA in 2005 as Washington office director, and was the organization's top lobbyist and advocacy strategist through a period of significant activity in health care policy and notable legislative and regulatory wins for optometry. The AOA has been a strong force for patient access to care and patient safety legislation, including key provisions of the 2010 health care overhaul law. In 2012, the AOA was recognized in a survey of Washington, D.C., insiders for having one of the most effective and respected advocacy operations in the nation's capital. At the 2013 AOA House of Delegates meeting, Jon accepted an award on behalf of his staff colleagues presented by the Southern Caucus that cited the AOA's "tremendous" advocacy achievements.

Hymes spent a decade on Capitol Hill as a Congressional chief of staff and legislative and strategic communications aide. For five years, he advised Rep. Norman Lent of New York, then the ranking Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, the U.S. House panel with wide-ranging jurisdiction over health care policy. Hymes was selected as a Senator John C. Stennis Congressional Staff Fellow, and chosen to be a leader of Congressional staff delegations on official visits to the Republic of China and the State of Israel.    

A native of Lido Beach, New York, and a former Long Beach Patrol lifeguard, Hymes holds a degree in economics from Syracuse University, where he was a member of the Big East Conference champion swimming team. He resides in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife, Kim, and three children, and is a volunteer for local youth sports programs. He maintains memberships in the New York Congressional Chiefs of Staff Alumni Group, the U.S. House Chiefs of Staff Alumni Association and the American Society of Association Executives.