Leadership Transition at THP

The Hunger Project (THP) announces the resignation of its President and CEO, Jill Lester effective February 28, 2010. Jill has served as THP's President and CEO since January 2008, when she joined as the successor to our Founding President, Joan Holmes.

Mr. Steve Sherwood, Chair of THP's Global Board of Directors, stated: "Jill brought commitment, energy and skill to the role and immediately set about injecting fresh momentum into the organization, while remaining steadfast to THP's mission. The challenge of taking over leadership of our organization was compounded by the global financial crisis, which affected governments, private companies and NGO's throughout the world."

He continued, "In this challenging environment, THP not only increased its revenues in 2008 but substantially maintained funding for programs in 2009, despite lower revenues. This was achieved by Jill's emphasis on ensuring that the bulk of our funding is directed to grassroots programs and by her prompt and effective cost management. She worked tirelessly to increase the influence of and improve the relationship of THP with governments, foundations and other organizations in the United States, Program and Partner Countries. Under her leadership, the scope and quality of our monitoring and evaluation has made significant progress, enabling THP to demonstrate our very real programmatic impact to institutions and individuals, in addition to offering valuable insights for enhancements on the ground."

In making the announcement, Jill said that there can be no more important need in today's world than that expressed in THP's mission: to empower women and men to end their own hunger and poverty. She said, "I have been affirmed and inspired in this belief in my visits to THP's programs where the courage, determination and resilience of our village partners, particularly the women, to lead self-reliant lives, free from hunger and poverty, are matched only by the commitment, skills and creativity of THP staff."

Jill thanked staff, investors and Board members for their support. She said that she wanted to take this opportunity to stress her continuing commitment to THP and its unique approach in working in true and close partnership with grassroots villagers, empowering them to end their own hunger and poverty.

While the executive search is completed, the Office of the Global Board Chair will work closely with the Leadership Team in THP's Global Office to ensure a smooth transition period. The Global Board's Governance, Nominating and Human Resources Committee, chaired by Sheree Stomberg, is leading the search, on behalf of the full Global Board of Directors, through specialist non-profit search firm, Isaacson Miller.