World Vision appoints experienced humanitarian leader as new CEO

After 25 years working in the world’s conflict hotspots, Tamworth-born Daniel Wordsworth is returning to Australia to become the next Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Australia’s largest international NGO, World Vision Australia.

Daniel said: “In 1989 I was helping homeless people in Kings Cross, Sydney. Since then, I’ve helped lead teams in places such as Afghanistan, Somalia, El Salvador and in refugee camps the world over.

“My upbringing in country New South Wales shapes my attitude when trying to help people. I have lived through droughts. I grew up on a farm, experienced severe water shortages and saw families around me really struggling.”

For the past 12 years, Daniel, 54, has been CEO of Alight (formerly known as the American Refugee Committee based in Minneapolis, Minnesota), providing health care, clean water, shelter, protection and economic opportunity to more than 2.5 million people in 15 countries each year.

At Alight, Daniel launched work with the Rohingya people in Myanmar, the migrants streaming through Latin America and with families in war-ravaged Syria. During his time at Alight, support for the organisation more than doubled.

While in the Royal Australian Navy as an Officer Cadet, Daniel experienced a “calling” to serve the poor, and is excited to now be joining World Vision – the very organisation which ignited in him the joy of giving almost 40 years ago.

“I did the 40 Hour Famine as a 14-year-old, and with my first pay cheque I sponsored a child,” he said. “I am like so many other Aussies in that I learned through World Vision to give freely, not expecting anything in return, and that has been a great gift to me.”

Daniel said he felt “compelled and called” to work with World Vision, an organisation dedicated to helping the world’s poorest children and which, since its inception, has reached more than 200 million children worldwide. He said he was also greatly inspired by the strength of the organisation’s faith-based mission.

“We can look in the news and see what is supposedly wrong in the world, but after having worked in what some people would call the worst places in the world, I can tell you there are many more good people in those places than bad.

“Each time something happens in those places, there are hundreds of people rushing to actually help and get people back on their feet, so the World Vision story is actually one of an amazing world, of a beautiful world and a world full of people doing good things. Our job is to connect Aussies to that spirit.”

World Vision Australia Board Chair, Shannon Adams, said: “Like all not-for-profits, World Vision is operating in a fast-changing and increasingly challenging environment. Daniel is a gifted and capable leader who has the rare talent of combining extensive and authentic humanitarian experience with the ability to run a large organisation with reach across the globe. Daniel will continue World Vision’s legacy and help to lift children worldwide out of poverty.”

For more on Daniel Wordsworth’s career, view his LinkedIn profile here.

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