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Joan’s deep faith, love for children, and concern for the poor all came together when she joined World Vision. “I was fine doing television news, but God had something else in mind!”
Joan currently serves as World Vision’s senior vice president for mobilization and is based in the Seattle area.
Joan’s deep faith, love for children, and concern for the poor all came together when she joined World Vision more than two decades ago. Today, she is senior vice president for mobilization, responsible for more than 600 staff.
Joan grew up on a farm in Minnesota and earned a bachelor’s degree at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. She went on to earn a master’s degree in broadcast production and management from the University of Michigan. She started a broadcasting career at an NBC affiliate in Minneapolis.
“I was fine doing television news, but God had something else in mind,” she says. In 1985, the station sent her to cover a famine in East Africa as world attention was focused on 8 million people threatened with starvation. “I was touched by everything I saw, and it broke my heart,” Joan says. “Going overseas to Africa during the famine was an absolute life-changing moment for me. I came back and committed myself to serve the poor.”
A job soon opened up with World Vision, and she became a regional communicator in Nairobi, Kenya, shooting footage all over the continent.
Joan later accepted a position with World Vision’s U.S. office, then based in Southern California. Now, she is responsible for private and mass market fundraising efforts, including acquiring, growing, and serving more than 2 million supporter relationships in the United States. She is charged with building a robust Internet presence and engaging churches, major donors, and foundations with World Vision. Joan is also responsible for the advocacy and communications departments, which include public policy, all media relations, publications, a nationally broadcast radio news program, and additional communications functions.
Joan is a natural storyteller with a gift for inspiring and challenging audiences. She is an expert in a wide range of topics, and enjoys talking about children in need, speaking up for the poor, how God can use defining moments to shape our lives, and how we can live boldly to make a difference in the world.
“God wants us to think of the world as a smaller place, which will help us to love one another more,” she says.