Kurt Buchholz, former interim executive director of LCMS World Mission, will begin serving Feb. 15 as vice president for special initiatives, a newly created position at Lutheran World Relief, Baltimore.
In his new position, Buchholz will lead the Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI), a partnership of LWR and the LCMS to mobilize U.S. Lutherans in the global effort to eliminate malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. LMI is made possible through support from the United Nations Foundation and aims to raise $45 million.
LMI is currently in its pilot phase, but already has begun making a difference in the fight against malaria, according to LWR. Lutheran congregations in the pilot are engaging their members, and a program with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania has increased the use of insecticide-treated bed nets among church members and improved the availability of medications to treat the disease.
Buchholz, 40, joined LCMS World Mission in 1993 as a missionary in Taiwan. He was called to the World Mission staff in 2001 and served as coordinator for volunteer and specialized ministries, director of Personnel (now Recruitment) Services and associate executive director of Planning and Administration.
Most recently, Buchholz had served as interim executive director after Dr. Thomas R. Zehnder stepped down from the executive director post July 31.
“We are very pleased to have Kurt on board, given his past successes in leading large-scale initiatives and campaigns,” said LWR President and CEO Dr. John Nunes. “He brings a wealth of experience and passion to this position and we are excited to welcome him to LWR.”
Buchholz said he “worked closely with LWR” in his previous position, “and I’m thrilled to be joining such a respected and effective organization. As a person of faith, I consider it a great privilege to be able to live out my vocation in a way that has a positive impact on the world and shows care and support for others, and I look forward to doing that with LWR.”
Posted Jan. 26, 2011