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World Relief Announces Myal Greene as New Head Amid ‘The Most Significant Crisis of Our Lives’

World Relief President Scott Arbeiter and CEO Tim Breene announced in February they were stepping down

World Relief announced Tuesday, July 20 that longtime staff member Myal Greene will become the next president and CEO of the evangelical Christian humanitarian organization.

The announcement comes after current World Relief President Scott Arbeiter and CEO Tim Breene announced in February they were stepping down after a combined 30 years serving the organization.

Greene will step into the combined role of president and CEO on August 16.

“During my fourteen years with World Relief, I have seen God at work in our organization in countless ways,” Greene said in a written statement on World Relief’s website.

“I am grateful for the extraordinary leadership of Tim and Scott, and I am continuously inspired by our more than 1,500 staff in the U.S. and around the world. I believe God has used all of my experiences to equip me for this new role and to help me magnify the life-changing work our team is doing.”

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Most recently, Greene has served as World Relief’s senior vice president of international programs, leading efforts to scale its grant-funded programs and launch a significant gender equity initiative, according to the organization.

Greene began his work with World Relief in Rwanda in 2007, leading the development of a new church-based programming model known as Church Empowerment Zones that is now used in nine countries. He later served as World Relief’s Rwanda country director, its Africa regional director, then its developing countries unit director.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., and a master’s in global leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., and is pursuing a doctorate in organizational leadership from Eastern University in Philadelphia.

“Nearly 80 years ago, World Relief was founded in response to the world’s greatest humanitarian crisis. Today, we face the most significant crisis of our lives,” Greene said.

“Much of the world is still facing rising COVID-19 cases, and hundreds of millions of people have fallen deeper into poverty due to the pandemic. Domestically, our work to serve refugees and immigrants is more relevant than ever. World Relief, in partnership with churches across the globe, has a critical role to play in the lives of millions of people around the world.”

Steve Moore, chair of World Relief’s board of directors, said in the written statement that Greene emerged as the “clear choice” to lead the organization as it faces those crises.

Arbeiter and Breene told Religion News Service earlier this year the time felt right for younger, more diverse leadership at World Relief after seeing the organization — one of nine agencies contracted by the government to resettle refugees in the United States — through a tumultuous period in the U.S. refugee resettlement program.

The two leaders expressed their “full and enthusiastic support” for their successor in a joint statement.

“It has been our privilege to witness Myal’s growth as a leader over the past five years,” they said.

“He has substantially increased the depth, breadth and impact of our international work while simultaneously growing in his understanding and commitment to our U.S.-based work among refugee and immigrant populations. Myal has a unique set of gifts, passions and experiences that make him an outstanding choice to lead World Relief into the future.”

Emily McFarlan Miller

Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS based in Chicago. She covers evangelical and mainline Protestant Christianity.