Following an extensive search, World Vision’s board is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Messenger as the humanitarian aid agency’s next President and CEO. He will succeed Dave Toycen, who is retiring from that role which he has held for the past 18 years.
Mr. Messenger has been the agency’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer since 2010, giving oversight to the senior leadership team and to all operations, including sponsorship activities that benefit over 480,000 children, emergency response in a variety of crises, and revenue of more than $415 million. Prior to 2010, he was Vice President of Public Affairs for three years, giving leadership to public relations, advocacy and education, government relations and communications.
Mr. Messenger has travelled regularly to take part in World Vision’s efforts around the world. This has included on-the-ground assessment during Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, and an extended visit to Zimbabwe in 2013 to participate in community development and humanitarian relief programs.
Outside of his professional role, Mr. Messenger is a board member of The Meeting House church and Tyndale University College and Seminary. He holds an undergraduate degree in economics from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts and a law degree from the University of Toronto. He practiced law for nine years in Halifax, Nova Scotia. As a partner at Cox & Palmer, he developed a broad litigation practice and served as chief counsel to a high-profile public inquiry on issues of youth justice. Mr. Messenger maintained his connection with World Vision during his law career, serving on the Canadian Board of Directors for more than three years.
Mr. Messenger will work closely with retiring president and CEO Dave Toycen during a transition period, and will formally start his new role on June 1, 2015.
“I’m excited at the privilege of leading World Vision Canada and continuing our critical work with children facing poverty and injustice. My prayer is that in this role I can follow Jesus’ example in serving the poorest and most vulnerable, and that my heart will be broken by the things that break the heart of God. I’ve seen firsthand how partnering with children, families and communities can transform lives – but I know there is more work to be done.” –Michael Messenger, incoming President and CEO
“In addition to his deep commitment to following Christ by serving the poorest of the poor, Michael brings an exceptional set of skills and experience to the role: a deep understanding of international humanitarian work, proven executive leadership of a complex charitable organization, skilled strategic thinking, and a genuine passion to serve the world’s poorest and most vulnerable children.” -Ron McKerlie, World Vision Canada Board Chair
“I’ve had the privilege of knowing Michael for more than 25 years. He is a man of deep faith. We’ve worked closely for the past five years and I have tremendous confidence in his character, integrity, passion for our work, and his ability to lead World Vision Canada into an extraordinary future. There are exciting days ahead!” -Dave Toycen, retiring President and CEO
- World Vision is active in 49 countries around the world, helping communities provide children with nutritious food, clean water, healthcare and education to prepare children for better futures.
- Generous Canadians sponsor more than 480,000 children around the world through World Vision, making it the country’s largest child-focused humanitarian development agency.
- In Canada, World Vision Canada partners with community and non-profit organizations to help more than 69,000 children in need.
of Michael Messenger and Dave Toycen
Photos available upon request