World Vision’s longest-serving president, Rich Stearns, announced that he plans to retire this year.

“For the past 20 years it has been both a privilege and an honor to serve alongside tens of thousands of dedicated World Vision staff in 100 countries around the world,” Stearns said. “Their passionate commitment to stand in the gap for the world’s poorest children has inspired me every single day.”   

This announcement comes at an important time in the organization’s 67-year history. Under Stearns’ leadership, the organization just completed its strongest growth year for funds raised to help children and families in need. World Vision and its 2 million supporters, child sponsors and partners appear to be on track to achieve their bold vision of helping 30 million children by 2022. “Achieving this goal will be ‘job one’ for the next president of World Vision U.S.,” Stearns said.

Among Stearns’ greatest contributions are his urgent calling to the Church in America to respond to the global AIDS pandemic in the early 2000s and the widespread influence of his first book, The Hole in Our Gospel, winner of the Evangelical Publisher’s Association Book of the Year award in 2010. In recent years, Stearns has called the Church to engage in the global refugee crisis and to follow Jesus into the most difficult places in the world to alleviate human suffering and care for the world’s most vulnerable children.

“I am as excited as ever about World Vision’s future,” Stearns said. “And with the leadership of our Board, senior team, faithful staff, and our army of supporters, we will continue to pursue our inspiring mission—to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God.”

Rich and his wife, Reneé, have been supporters of, and passionate advocates for, the work of World Vision for more than 30 years. “We will always be a part of the World Vision family,” said Stearns.

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