World Relief  


Stand for the Vulnerable

World Relief
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Stephan Bauman  

Stephan Bauman

Stephan Bauman is the President and CEO of World Relief, an international relief and development organization that serves more five million vulnerable people each year through more than 100,000 church-based volunteers. Stephan’s pursuit of justice led him to transition from a successful career in the Fortune 100 sector to Africa where he directed relief and development programs for nearly a decade before returning to the United States to lead World Relief’s global operations.  Stephan lives to see people everywhere rise to the call of justice and give their lives in ways that empower the poor towards real change, a journey he continues to pursue. Stephan holds degrees from Johns Hopkins University, Wheaton College and the University of Wisconsin. He is a poet, an author, an ordained minister and a Certified Public Accountant. He considers his African friends his most important teachers, and his wife, Belinda, his most important mentor. Stephan, Belinda, and their two sons, Joshua and Caleb, live near Washington, D.C., and, together, enjoy the woods, the arts and late night conversations with friends.


Barry Howard, World Relief's Chief Financial Officer joined the organization in 2007, after sixteen years of fiscal and operational management within Youth With A Mission. He was CFO at one of YWAM’s most prolific training centers, located in Colorado.  Barry is an ordained minister, has traveled to over sixty countries, and is passionate about the international and domestic work of World Relief.  He holds an M.B.A. from Johns Hopkins University, and a B.S. in Business Management from Regis University, where he graduated summa cum laude. Barry and his wife, Amie, live in northern Maryland with their four children: Noah, Hillary, Abraham and Joshua.


Kevin Sanderson is Senior Vice President of International Programs and Chief Information Officer.  Kevin began working with World Relief in 1991 in Nicaragua. Since that time, he has been a key leader in the International Programs Division, as well as serving four years as the organization's Chief Financial Officer. His focus on agricultural value chains, organizational development and his many years of experience in the field of program design and management, have allowed Kevin to engage diverse roles around the world for World Relief. Kevin holds a Master of Public Policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, as well as a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Missouri. Kevin resides in Maryland with his wife, Alcira, and their two children.


Dan Kosten is Senior Vice President of U.S. Programs.  The organization's U.S. Programs Division primarily serves refugees, immigrants and victims of trafficking.  Prior to joining World Relief in 2001, Dan worked for nearly ten years in Africa; initially as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer, and then with Christian Blind Mission International. Dan holds a Master of Missions and Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College and a Bachelor of Arts from Calvin College. He and his wife, Holly, reside in Maryland with their two daughters, Hannah and Martha Nadine.

Gil Odendaal   Gil Odendaal

Gil Odendaal serves as Vice President of Integral Mission. Prior to joining World Relief he served as the Global Director for PEACE Implementation with Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California as well as Global Director for the HIV/AIDS Initiative under Kay Warren. Other professional engagements include serving as Regional Coordinator for Africa with Medical Ambassadors International and also as Regional Coordinator for Russia and Eastern Europe. He has thirty years of ministry experience as missionary, pastor, educator, leader and public speaker. Deeply committed to the seamless combination of Word and Deed ministry and to unleash the untapped human resources latent in the church worldwide, Gil has developed innovative programs, projects and campaigns which include the effective engagement of short term mission teams to empower the local church globally for implementing wholistic ministry resulting in spiritual and physical transformation of communities. Gil and his wife, Elmarie, were born and raised in South Africa. They have three adult children and four grandchildren.



Eeva Sallinen Simard is Chief of Staff and the Director of the Leadership Forum at World Relief. She joined World Relief in 2013, after serving for several years as Senior Program Coordinator at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health/Institute for International Programs. Eeva holds a Master’s Degree in International Politics from the University of Helsinki, as well as M.B.A. in Management from Johns Hopkins University. Born in Finland, raised among international missions work, Eeva resides in Baltimore City with her husband Rene, and children Tuomas and Amelie.


john   john

John Gichinga is the Director of Spiritual Formation for World Relief where he serves as lead chaplain for all World Relief offices. In addition, John serves as an advisor to the senior leadership team. Reverend Gichinga attended Wheaton Graduate School and Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School. As the former Director of Church Mobilization in the World Relief Kenya Office and leader of the 3,000 member Nairobi Baptist Church for more than 30 years, John provides significant pastoral and leadership expertise.

  Jenny YangJenny Yang is the Vice President of Advocacy and Policy, providing oversight for all advocacy initiatives and policy positions at World Relief. She has worked in the Resettle­ment section of World Relief as the Senior Case Manager and East Asia Program Officer where she focused on advocacy for refugees in the East Asia region and managed the entire refugee caseload for World Relief before their arrival to the United States. Prior to World Relief, she worked at one of the largest political fundraising firms in Maryland managing fundraising and campaigning for local politicians. She is co-author of Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compas­sion and Truth in the Immigration Debate, is Chair of the Refugee Council USA (RCUSA) Africa Work Group which brings NGOs and government partners together on the protection of African refugees, and was recently named as “50 Women to Watch” by Christianity Today.


Lilian Samaan  

Lilian Samaan, VP of Strategic EngagementLilian is World Relief’s Vice President for Strategic Partnerships where she oversees and leads the organizations major advancement initiatives. Originally from Amman, Jordan, Lilian is considered to be one of the few Middle Eastern, Evangelical women-leaders in the United States today. As World Relief-Chicago’s Executive Director previously, she oversaw a variety of programs and partnerships benefiting refugees and immigrants. During her tenure, Lilian launched a major gifts program and established a major gifts advisory board which allowed for higher exposure to World Relief’s mission, and significantly higher giving and partnership levels. Lilian led strategic marketing and public relations initiatives, and national award winning marketing campaigns as part of her career in Christian Higher Education prior. Additionally, Lilian served with OM (Operation Mobilization) in a missionary capacity, in 33 countries on four different continents. Lilian brings substantial strategic planning experience, global perspective to World Relief’s executive leadership, a desire to witness individual and collective transformation through giving, and a strong commitment to the vulnerable and the role of the church in the holistic transformation of families and communities. Lilian holds a Master’s degree in Community Development from North Park University, Chicago.


World Relief Board of Directors

Mr. Steve Moore -
Rev. Sanders "Sandy" Willson -
Vice Chairman
Mrs. Kathryn Vaselkiv -
Casely Essamuah -
Rev. Secretary of the Board

Rev. Leith Anderson
National Association of Evangelicals
Rev. Paul Borthwick
Development Associates International
Katherine Barnhart
Dr. Judith Dean
Brandeis University

J. Stephen Simms
Simms Showers LLP
Dr. Timothy Ek
David Husby
Covenant World Relief
Tim Breene

Dr. Roy Taylor
National Association of Evangelicals
Bill Westrate
Veolia Environmental Services
Tim Traudt
Wells Fargo

World Relief
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