Directors of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) International elected Jonathan Duffy, current CEO of ADRA Australia, to serve as president of the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. A unanimous vote earlier today confirmed Duffy as the fourth president of the 28-year-old agency.
According to Geoffrey Mbwana, board chairman for ADRA International and a general vice president of the Adventist world church, the search “was a very transparent, very objective process, one that has gathered information from all levels of the organization. This gave us a global input, and that led us to get the best candidate, whom we believe will lead this organization to the next level.”
Mbwana said Duffy “brings the leadership qualities we were looking for. He also has the managerial experience and a very clear vision, as well as experience in the organization.”
Duffy said, "I am extremely honored to be selected for this role. ADRA has been a tremendous positive force in the humanitarian arena, bringing hope and healing to millions over the last 28 years. I believe that we have such great potential to make an even larger difference, especially with the very dedicated and talented staff around the globe. I look forward to working with the ADRA International staff, the ADRA Network, our board, organizational partners and many supporters."
The move comes after a four-month tenure by retired Seventh-day Adventist world church Treasurer Robert L. Rawson as interim ADRA president. Rawson accepted the call following the June 24 departure of then-president Rudi Maier.
Duffy’s appointment is effective immediately, and he is expected to visit the agency’s Silver Spring, Maryland, headquarters the week of October 15th.
Before joining ADRA Australia in 2008, Duffy served as director of Adventist Health for the church's South Pacific Division, where he had extensive experience in health promotion and community health development. He also holds a Master's of Public Health (MPH) from Deakin University in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
During his tenure at ADRA Australia, Duffy emphasized strong relations between the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the agency, and revamped marketing to increase donations by 138 percent, the number of donors by 201 percent and the number of new donors by 271 percent.
In July, ADRA Australia won re-accreditation by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), which gives the charity access to Australian federal development funds. The process involved a review of more than 3,000 pages of documents and two days of screening by AusAID officials, Duffy said. ADRA Australia has continuously held full accreditation since AusAID introduced the program.
“Jonathan Duffy is an exceptionally dynamic leader who has capacity to work with others and bring them into his circle of influence,” said Allan Handysides, M.D., Adventist world church Health Ministries director and a longtime colleague. “In his ADRA work, he was successful in getting 25 percent of the Adventist congregations in Australia to sponsor something from the ADRA catalog of projects. He has also involved the churches in an ‘adopt-a-clinic’ program in the Pacific islands.”
Established in 1984, ADRA International is the successor to Seventh-day Adventist World Services (SAWS) and several development and humanitarian organizations sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church that stretch back 100 years. It is actively involved in relief and social service projects worldwide, and was noted for its relief efforts after recent earthquakes in Haiti and Japan.
ADRA International revenues in 2011 showed $67.8 million in total revenues and $65.3 million in project costs. ADRA International offices are located in Silver Spring, Maryland, and manage a federation of country-specific ADRA organizations that obtain and administer aid grants from governments and entities around the world. According to ADRA statistics, more than 6,000 persons are engaged in implementing ADRA projects in more than 120 countries where ADRA or its affiliates operate.
-- with additional information from Crister L. DelaCruz, director of Marketing and Communication for ADRA