IMA World Health Announces Ambassador Daniel V. Speckhard as President and CEO

  • John Rivera
  • Jan 14, 2019

Read this press release in Spanish or French.

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  IMA World Health announced today that its Board of Directors has appointed Ambassador Daniel V. Speckhard as its president and CEO, effective January 1, 2019. 

Speckhard will also retain his current role as president and CEO of Lutheran World Relief as the two organizations join their operations and staff to dramatically increase their impact in breaking the cycle of poverty and promoting healthy communities in the developing world.   

Rick Santos, who led IMA World Health’s growth into a leading international public health NGO during his nine-year tenure, will serve as a senior advisor for the transition and CEO of IMA Innovations, a subsidiary organization.   

Speckhard said he looks forward to working with IMA World Health’s talented and dedicated staff of international health and development professionals.   

“I’ve gained an appreciation for the excellence of IMA World Health’s work through our collaboration in projects in South Sudan and elsewhere,” he said. “We see an opportunity to build on that collaboration, significantly expanding our reach and effectiveness by combining our work in health and rural communities and building our capacity to respond to humanitarian crises.” 

Dr. William Craft, IMA World Health Board Chair, said Speckhard is well-positioned to take IMA World Health into this next chapter. “Daniel has a vision for taking the organization into the future, and a passion for bringing a holistic approach to empowering families living in extreme poverty to address their health and livelihood needs with lasting results.”   

He also recognized the important contribution Santos has made to building a world class health organization. “I would like to thank Rick Santos for his strong leadership of IMA World Health over nearly a decade, bringing life-saving treatment and support to millions of families and helping to build health systems in very challenging environments.”   

Speckhard has served as president and CEO of Lutheran World Relief since 2014. A former U.S. Ambassador to Greece and Belarus, he has had a long and distinguished career in government service under both Republican and Democratic administrations.  

Speckhard’s previous positions include serving as Deputy Chief of Mission in Iraq, where he oversaw the U.S. Government’s reconstruction assistance program that rebuilt hospitals and clinics across the country, and Deputy to the Ambassador-at-Large for the New Independent States, where he supported economic transitions in newly formed countries after the breakup of the Soviet Union.   


John Rivera
Senior Manager, Media Relations
Lutheran World Relief | IMA World Health
Cell: +1 443 604 2918 | Office: +1 410 230 2751 |  @email


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John Rivera, Jan 14, 2019 email