Hilda M. “Bambi” Arellano, a retired high-ranking official with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has been elected to the Lutheran World Relief Board of Directors.
Arellano will assume the seat vacated by Teizazu T. Sukessa Ph.D., who recently stepped down as he is working in his homeland of Ethiopia for an extended time.
Arellano most recently served as Director of The Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative (SINSI) at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School following her 2014 retirement from USAID. During her 27-year career at USAID, she served as Coordinator for Development and Economic Affairs in Afghanistan and as Mission Director in, Egypt, Iraq, Ecuador, Peru and Regional Center – Budapest. She joined USAID in 1987 and her first assignments were to Guatemala and Bolivia.
LWR President and CEO Daniel Speckhard worked with Arellano when they were both posted in Iraq, when he was the Deputy Chief of Mission for the Embassy.
“She and I served together in Iraq during a very difficult period,” Speckhard said. “You learn a lot about a person’s character in a war zone, and I was so impressed by her incredible intellect and how effectively she led the effort to empower Iraqis and their communities to rebuild their lives and communities in a tough environment.”
Sukessa, who has worked as a senior IT analyst with Cargill, Inc., joined the LWR Board in 2011 and served on the Finance Committee and the Audit and Risk Committee. The Board thanked him for his five and a half years of dedicated service.
At the Sept. 28 meeting, the LWR Board approved the $56.3 million operating budget for the 2017 fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1. Board directors also had the opportunity to join with visiting members of LWR’s overseas staff to assemble 200 kits filled with relief supplies that will be sent communities experiencing humanitarian crises overseas.