DEAN R. HIRSCH- President and Chief Executive Officer, World Vision International
As president and chief executive officer of World Vision International, Dean R. Hirsch heads a global partnership committed to serving the human needs of the world’s poor. Last year, World Vision assisted some 100 million people.
Hirsch has focused World Vision’s relief, development and advocacy work on children. World Vision’s private donors sponsor some three million children, providing nearly half the Christian agency’s annual budget of over $2 billion USD.
World Vision’s priorities are alleviating poverty while protecting children from abuse, neglect, exploitation, and HIV/AIDS. Hirsch has emphasised these priorities in meetings with the leaders of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and other international institutions. He has addressed the UN Security Council on the issue of children in armed conflict and the World Trade Organisation on how trade can reduce poverty. He chairs the Global Movement for Children, an international coalition of organisations, groups and individuals committed to the well being of children.
A veteran of world trouble spots including Somalia, Cambodia and North Korea, Hirsch has worked extensively in disaster and post-conflict situations. He has helped set up famine relief in Ethiopia, HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in Africa and Asia, and peace building programs in countries such as Bosnia, Rwanda and El Salvador.
Under Hirsch’s leadership, World Vision’s income has tripled, allowing the organisation’s 31,000 staff members to provide health care, education, clean water, emergency food, tools, shelter and technical know-how to millions of the world’s poorest inhabitants.
Prior to his appointment as international president of World Vision in 1996, Hirsch served as chief operating officer, vice president for development and vice president for relief operations. He joined World Vision in 1976 as manager of computer operations.
Helping children has been the central and overriding focus of Hirsch’s work. “We should not tolerate the needless suffering of children,” he says. “Our mission is to help create a world in which no child suffers or dies for lack of food, clean water, shelter or protection from exploitation or war.”
Hirsch, 60, holds a master of science degree from Indiana State University and a bachelor of arts and an honorary doctorate from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. He was also awarded honorary doctorates from Pepperdine University (2006), Eastern University of Pennsylvania (2001) and Myongji University in Seoul, Korea (1999).