Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Alumnus Speckhard leading merged international humanitarian organization

Daniel Speckhard Daniel Speckhard

Daniel Speckhard (MA ’82), a member of the La Follette School’s Board of Visitors, is leading the unified Lutheran World Relief-IMA World Health, after the two faith-based humanitarian organizations merged January 1. Speckhard, a former US ambassador, has led Lutheran World Relief since 2014.

The organizations combined operations to “dramatically increase their impact on breaking the cycle of poverty and promoting healthier families and communities throughout the world,” according to a news release announcing the merger. The combined organization has 550 staff members in 21 countries, serving more than 35 million people around the world.

“We’re making this historic move to better serve the world’s most vulnerable communities,” said Speckard. “We will have a much greater impact together than we ever could have apart in the goal of ending extreme poverty and hunger and building healthy communities.”
Lutheran World Relief was created in 1945 to help refugees in Europe after World War II, and IMA World Health was created in 1960 as Interchurch Medical Assistance. The organizations have a long history of collaboration.