The Lavelle Fund for the Blind Announces New Board and Staff Members


December 7, 2020

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

The board and staff of Lavelle Fund for the Blind are delighted to announce the election of Dr. José Miguel Román to our Board of Directors. Along with his many professional skills and accomplishments in the fields of law, economics, business management and research/grants administration, Dr. Román brings an enthusiasm for, and commitment to, our mission of supporting the blind and visually impaired community. We look forward to his active participation.

It is also a pleasure to introduce you to our new Office and Administrative Associate, Oliver Fuhrmann. Oliver will be providing general administrative support to the Fund’s program and financial staff, assisting with the grants management process, operational tasks, IT management and website content.

Find out more about them both below – and please join us in welcoming them to our philanthropic community.


Susan Olivo
Executive Director

Daniel M. Callahan
Board President

Dr. José Miguel Román

Dr. Román is Vice President for Research Administration at Rutgers University Office of Research. Dr. Román joined Rutgers from New York University, where he had served as Assistant Vice President, Sponsored Programs Administration. Prior to his tenure at NYU, Dr. Román also served as Chief Financial Officer of Callen-Lorde Community Health Center and Executive Director of Sponsored Programs at Columbia University.
Dr. Román has dedicated his professional life to public service and to working with mission-focused, values-driven institutions. Over the past 30 years, he has also worked on issues as varied as youth development, LGBT civil rights, HIV/AIDS, vaccine research, and international emergency relief and development, and has served on the boards of numerous organizations. He currently serves as advisor to both the President and Board of the Center for Black Equity and the CEO of the United Palace of Spiritual Arts and is the co-chair of the National LGBT Advisory Board of the Democratic National Committee. As a person living with a significant vision impairment, Dr. Román feels passionately drawn to the mission of the Lavelle Fund.

Dr. Román earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from City University of New York, followed by his Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law with a concentration in non-profit corporate law. Dr. Román also holds a Doctorate in Ministry from the New York Theological Seminary.

Oliver Fuhrmann

Prior to joining the Lavelle Fund staff, Oliver had been working as the Accessibility and Special Projects Coordinator at the Museum at Eldridge Street. Oliver was responsible for developing a master plan for museum accessibility, assessing ADA-compliance, diversity practices and overall inclusivity, handling community outreach, assisting in public programs and event planning, and producing blog posts and newsletters. Prior to his Museum work, Oliver had served as Lead Organizer for Voices4.

Oliver has a passion for the concept of accessibility – providing equal access and equal opportunity to people with disabilities, thereby allowing more active participation in society. He has been a dedicated freelance tutor of students with learning disabilities, helping them fulfill academic requirements.

Oliver is a graduate of the City University of New York, and holds a B.A. in English and Creative Writing.