President's Biography & Message

A portrait of Dave Power in a suit against a white backdrop.

Perkins President and CEO Dave Power.

Dave Power is President and CEO of Perkins School for the Blind, the first school for the blind in the U.S., where Helen Keller attended and Annie Sullivan taught. Today Perkins is a global leader and innovator in education, teacher training and accessible technology focused on enabling children and young adults who are blind or visually impaired to realize their potential. Dave oversees Perkins’ operating and support groups, including: Perkins School for the Blind; Perkins eLearning for U.S. teachers of the visually impaired; Perkins International, training specialized teachers and serving children in developing countries; Perkins Solutions, providing accessible products and services to organizations; the Perkins Library; and Trust operations, focused on engaging donors in support of Perkins’ mission.   

Dave has guided growing organizations as an operating executive, board member and advisor for more than 28 years. His diverse background includes roles as CEO, general manager and marketing executive at Sun Microsystems, RSA Security and other successful growth companies. He also led investments in emerging technology companies at Fidelity Ventures.

Dave teaches Design Thinking at Harvard Extension School where he received the Joanne Fussa Distinguished Teaching Award in 2014, and is the author of “The Curve Ahead: Discovering the Path to Unlimited Growth.”

Perkins’ mission and story is close to his heart. His son David, who is deafblind, graduated from Perkins in 2009. Dave has served on Perkins’ Board of Trustees since 2003.

Dave received a BS in Civil Engineering and MS in Environmental Engineering from Tufts University and an MBA from Stanford Business School, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.

Message from Dave Power

At Perkins, we’re searching for new ways to make the world a better place for people who are blind and deafblind.

More than 4.5 million children around the world are not in school, simply because they are blind. In the United States, 75 percent of people who are blind are unemployed. We want to change this status quo by preparing students through academics and vocational training, by training educators, and by sharing our know-how with organizations that serve the blind community around the globe. This is the shared mission of our five divisions: Perkins School for the Blind, Perkins Solutions, Perkins Library, Perkins International and Perkins eLearning.

We are currently focused on three important initiatives: transition to adult living, literacy through braille, and innovation.

Our educational goal is to prepare students for a successful transition to life beyond the classroom. From independent living skills to vocational readiness, transition to adult living is a part of everything we do at our school, and is the foundation of the educational approaches we share with educators, professionals and families in the 67 countries we serve. We want to help individuals who are blind to become productive and engaged citizens.

We believe literacy through braille is a critical life skill – even in a world of audio books, voice recognition and other communication technologies. Among blind adults who are employed, 85 percent rely on braille. Unfortunately, only 10 percent of today’s students who are blind learn braille. We want to make braille easier to teach and learn, and to make literacy through braille a priority among schools and parents.

Innovation is key to our success – from assistive technology to online education to creative approaches to teaching. Our insights begin with the individuals we serve, in the classroom and around the world. By taking a fresh, human-centered approach to the challenges of the blind community, and by adopting new technologies, we want to offer better products and services and reach a larger population.

These initiatives are all part of the legacy of innovation that defines our organization. Perkins has served as a catalyst for change and progress since our founding 185 years ago. I invite you to visit Perkins and learn more about what we’re doing. Join us as we unleash the power of possibility, here and around the world.

W. David Power
President and CEO
Perkins School for the Blind