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

Ambassador Daniel V. Speckhard
Ambassador Daniel V. Speckhard

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.

Elected at a special meeting of LWR’s board of directors, Speckhard brings a wealth of experience from a career that has taken him around the globe.

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 has three grown children and lives in McLean, Va., with his wife Anne. He is a descendant of a long line of Lutheran pastors and currently attends the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in McLean.

“[LWR] 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 said.

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.

“It is a privilege to welcome Daniel Speckhard as LWR’s president and CEO,” said Gloria Edwards, LWR’s board chair. “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.”

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.

See the official news release.
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