A new era begins today as Robert Carrillo becomes only the third chief executive officer in the 24-year history of HOPE worldwide, which serves more than 1.5 million poor and needy people each year in more than 70 countries around the world.
Carrillo, 52, was named to the post after a year-long succession-planning process to follow Randy Jordan, who is retiring after serving as the organization’s CEO since 2008. Jordan has agreed to serve as a part-time strategic advisor to HOPE worldwide into 2016, ensuring a seamless leadership transition as the organization contemplates structural changes to enhance its ability to serve the world’s most vulnerable populations.
“I feel privileged to assume this leadership role with HOPE worldwide,” said Carrillo, who is spending his first day as CEO at a new HOPE worldwide medical clinic in La Paz, Bolivia. “Though this signals a new chapter in the history of our organization, I am eager to continue our commitment to empowering, equipping and enabling volunteers around the globe to serve poor, sick and suffering people.”
Prior to assuming his new role, Carrillo most recently served as lead evangelist for the San Diego Church of Christ, part of the International Churches of Christ that founded and has been a valued long-time partner in the work of HOPE worldwide. In this capacity Carrillo led the HOPE worldwide chapter in San Diego, noted for being one of the most active of the 100-plus local chapters of HOPE worldwide across the U.S.
“Robert’s long-time involvement with HOPE worldwide, his history of service and his global relationships throughout the International Church of Christ ideally suit him to lead our organization as we evaluate how to best connect with our supporters,” said Jeffrey Jones, co-chair of HOPE worldwide’s Board of Directors. “We are confident he will carry on the fine traditions of stewardship and service embodied by our founders, Bob and Pat Gempel, and continued so effectively the past eight years by Randy Jordan, for whom we are eternally grateful.”
Born in Mexico and raised in California, Carrillo says he will draw upon his background serving the poor through ministries he has led – and his own experiences with poverty, including periods of homelessness as a child – in guiding HOPE worldwide. His long history of community involvement, combined with his undergraduate education in social work and a master’s degree in divinity, reflect the multiple dimensions through which he is embracing his new role.
“Serving the poor is a spiritual mandate for me, part of my calling,” said Carrillo, who has three children with his wife of 26 years, Michele. “I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work with food pantries, gangs and homeless shelters, in addition to missionary work establishing churches across the globe. Those experiences helped me develop leadership and interpersonal skills, preparing me for this moment in time.”
Carrillo has spent the months prior to assuming the CEO role visiting and speaking with countless leaders of HOPE worldwide, its affiliate organizations and the churches that support their missions. Those encounters provided important insights into key programs – from the Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE in Cambodia to medical brigades in Honduras – while crystalizing his vision for the organization moving forward.
“I believe we must be a growing, learning organization, constantly evaluating with faith and courage that which we can do better,” said Carrillo. “My immediate goals are to ensure our organization is healthy, facilitate more openness and communication, and encourage our leaders, volunteers and partners to remain purposeful in everything we do. I am so grateful to be working together with churches around the world as we fulfill the compassionate ministry of Jesus.”