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Canadian Executive Named President of World Vision International

Contact: Sharon Marshall, World Vision, 905-565-6200 ext 2213, 416-616-9147 cell, sharon_marshall@worldvision.ca

CALGARY, Alberta, April 9 /Christian Newswire/ -- Kevin Jenkins, managing director of a Canadian investment firm and vice chair of the board of World Vision Canada, has been appointed the new president and chief executive officer of World Vision International (WVI), the world's largest Christian humanitarian aid organization.

The appointment is effective 1 October, the first day of WVI's next fiscal year.

At its semi-annual meeting in Kenya last week, the WVI board unanimously voted for Jenkins to succeed Dean R. Hirsch, who announced last year that he was stepping down as president.

A relief, development and advocacy organization, World Vision operates in 98 countries with 40,000 staff and an annual budget of US$2.6 billion. Its community-based development work focuses on children, while its relief arm responds to major disasters, including drought, floods, earthquakes and displacement and suffering as a result of man-made conflicts.  World Vision serves more than 100 million people annually.

Jenkins becomes the seventh president of World Vision since its founding in 1950 by Bob Pierce, an American evangelist who sought help for Korean War orphans.

Denis St-Amour, the WVI board chair and a member of the presidential search committee, announced Jenkins' appointment. He praised him as "a committed Christian, a creative thinker, and a visionary leader with a strong heart for children and the poor."

Calling the presidential search process exhaustive, St-Amour said the committee considered more than 300 candidates from six continents and 40 countries. "But, in the end," he said, "with God's guidance, we came to Kevin."

Hirsch, the outgoing president, said, "It's very clear to me that Kevin wants to make a difference for the children of the world."

Jenkins said he was deeply honored and humbled to be chosen to lead World Vision.  "I have a great sense of calling to bring sustainable change and dignity to the world's poorest children," he said, "and this is possible because of World Vision's strong reputation and the effectiveness of its people."

Richard Stearns, president of the U.S. offices of World Vision, remarked that Jenkins "is just the kind of leader World Vision needs for the challenging times in which we live.

"He has the management and leadership experience required to navigate a $2.6 billion global charity through the daunting challenges of the 21st century and a deep commitment to serving the poor in the name of Christ," Stearns said.  "I look forward to working with him to strengthen and grow the work of World Vision around the world."

Jenkins, 52, is a managing director of TriWest Capital Partners, a Calgary-based independent private equity firm. From 1996 to 2003, he was president and chief executive officer of The Westaim Corporation, a technology research and commercial product company. From 1985 to 1996, he held senior executive positions with Canadian Airlines, including president and chief executive officer.

Jenkins has been a member of the World Vision Canada board for the past nine years, initiating three significant initiatives with major donors related to HIV/AIDS in Zambia as well as microfinance in Ethiopia.  He served on the board of Young Life of Canada from 1992 to 2008, including as board chair from 2004 to 2008.

Jenkins earned a master's degree in business administration from Harvard Business School in 1985 and a law degree from the University of Alberta in 1980.

He and his wife, Helen, have three adult children and live in Calgary.

NOTE: Mr. Jenkins will be available for interviews April 8 between 2pm and 6 pm (Mountain Time)

World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. We serve the world’s poor regardless of a person’s religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit: www.wvi.org.