On Tuesday, Rich Stearns, World Vision U.S.'s longest standing president, announced to staff that he plans to retire this year. A new leader will be trained and take his place in the course of 2018.
"For the past twenty 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 in an article by World Vision. “Their passionate commitment to stand in the gap for the world’s poorest children has inspired me every single day."
Mr. Stearns was World Vision U.S.'s leader for 20 years and has made major accomplishments which grew the organization's leadership immensely. Among his greatest contributions was his first book, "The Hole In Our Gospel", which won Evangelical Publisher’s Association Book of the Year award in 2010. He also was responsible for eliciting a huge response from the American church to respond to the global AIDS pandemic in the early 2000s.
"Rich is an exceptional leader and replacing him will be the most important undertaking of this board," commented Dr. Joan Singleton, Chair of the World Vision US board. "We are committed to diligently seeking God’s will in selecting the individual whom God has prepared to lead World Vision U.S. in this next season. We are confident that just as God called Rich 20 years ago, he has also prepared a new leader for such a time as this. We are grateful for Rich’s commitment to continue to lead World Vision U.S. until the new president has settled."
“I am as excited as ever about World Vision’s future,” commented resigning president Richard 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 Saviour 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 World Vision supporters for over 30 years and state, "We will always be a part of the World Vision family."