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Ambassador Daniel V. Speckhard Named President and CEO of Lutheran World Relief

BALTIMORE, MD--(Marketwired - April 11, 2014) - Ambassador Daniel V. Speckhard, of McLean, Va., will be the next president and chief executive officer of Lutheran World Relief (LWR), effective July 1.

"I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to come to Lutheran World Relief and can't wait to get started," Speckhard said. "The organization is doing incredible work around the world to alleviate suffering and attack the root causes of poverty and it is inspiring to see how many Lutherans want to make a difference and are contributing to this great cause."

Speckhard succeeds the Rev. Dr. John Nunes, who served from 2007 to 2013. Jeff Whisenant, LWR's executive vice president, has led LWR as interim president and CEO during the search for Nunes' replacement. Speckhard will be the fifth president in LWR's 69-year history.

"It is a privilege to welcome Daniel Speckhard as LWR's president and CEO," said Gloria Edwards, LWR's board chair after the election of Speckhard in a special meeting last week. "He is a strong leader who has a deep passion for this work and a compelling vision for the future. The board looks forward to working with him to continue to grow the organization, connect with U.S. Lutherans, and reach even more people in need. The board is grateful to our Search Committee who have worked diligently to find an extraordinary candidate. We are convinced that we can make an even greater difference with the leadership of Daniel Speckhard."

Currently a senior advisor at Palantir Technologies and a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Speckhard has served in various high-level diplomatic roles in both Republican and Democratic administrations. Most recently, he was U.S. ambassador to Greece from 2007 to 2010. He has also served as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, director of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office, deputy assistant secretary general for political affairs at NATO, and the U.S. ambassador to Belarus. Earlier in his career he was an expert on foreign assistance programs and the challenges facing countries in transition. He speaks Russian and French and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Atlantic Council.

Speckhard holds master's degrees in economics and in public policy and administration, and a bachelor's degree in economics, all from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

A descendant of a long line of Lutheran pastors, Speckhard currently attends the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in McLean, Va., where he lives with his wife Anne. They have three grown children. 

WHO IS LWR? Lutheran World Relief works to improve the lives of smallholder farmers and people experiencing poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America, both in times of emergencies and for the long term. With the financial support of US Lutherans and other donors, LWR strengthens communities through programs in agriculture, climate, and emergency support. LWR works with partners, supporters and technical assistance providers to achieve lasting results. For more information, visit lwr.org.

Lutheran World Relief is a ministry of U.S. Lutherans, serving communities living in poverty overseas. 

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