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LWR Board of Directors Elects Two New Members

Baltimore, June 10, 2011The Lutheran World Relief board of directors elected Dr. Teizazu T. Sukessa and Kristin Yakimow its newest members at its May meeting in Chicago.

"The wisdom, leadership and gifts of these two esteemed colleagues will move LWR forward as we engage U.S. Lutherans to help the poorest of the poor to work their way out of poverty. I am excited to have them on board," says John Nunes, LWR president and CEO.

Born to a coffee farming family in Ethiopia, Sukessa earned a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Essen University. He’s worked as an engineer, business and technical analyst and has worked with Finnish Mission to help improve water access for rural communities in Ethiopia. Currently, Sukessa serves as a technical analyst for Cargill, Inc., an international food producer and marketer based in Minneapolis.

"Dr. Sukessa brings to the LWR board a unique perspective on LWR’s impact in rural, developing communities," says Gloria Edwards, chair of the board development committee that nominated the new members.

Yakimow, who resides in Chicago, is a life-long Lutheran whose mother is a retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She currently serves as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Concuity, a healthcare technology division of The Advisory Board Company.

A graduate of Valparaiso University in Indiana, Yakimow also holds a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Standford University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard University. Yakimow has worked in various capacities for companies such as AFFYMETRIX, CISCO Systems and GE Medical Systems Information Technologies.

Sukessa and Yakimow fill two new at-large positions created by the LWR board in 2010.

"These positions give the board the opportunity to expand its knowledge and experience base," Nunes said. "I think both Ms. Yakimow and Dr. Sukessa will help lead LWR toward a strong vision for the future."

Both Sukessa and Yakimow assume their roles on the LWR board effective immediately.

About Lutheran World Relief (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

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

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