5 Things You May Not Know About Compassion’s New President

Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado has led a life that has prepared him for his presidency at Compassion. Get a glimpse at what makes Compassion’s new leader perfectly suited for Compassion and serving children in poverty.

5 Things You May Not Know About Compassion’s New President
Santiago "Jimmy" Mellado

Compassion recently welcomed Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado as the ministry’s new president and CEO. Since 1993, Jimmy has served as president of the Willow Creek Association, a not-for-profit ministry dedicated to helping local churches thrive.

While Jimmy’s two decades at Willow Creek certainly helped prepare him for his presidency at Compassion, there are 5 other reasons he’s a perfect fit for serving children around the world—but these probably weren’t all on his resume!

5. The son of an engineer, Jimmy was born in El Salvador. His father often took the family into communities with few resources and little infrastructure where he helped build roads and other construction projects.

4. Jimmy spent his childhood in seven countries, including 5 countries where Compassion currently works--El Salvador, Nicaragua, Colombia, Bolivia and the Philippines.

3. One of Jimmy’s early memories is walking through the plaza with his father, seeing dozens of people begging for money. He used to run to his father and say “Empty your pockets” so he could give the change to the poverty-stricken people there.

2. In 1988, Jimmy competed in the Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea and placed 26th in the decathlon for the country of his birth, El Salvador. (Here's the proof!)

1. Jimmy is a 1991 graduate of the Harvard Business School. While studying at Harvard, he wrote a case study on the Willow Creek Community Church which has become part of the curriculum at Harvard Business School.

And here’s a bonus fact!

Jimmy is only the fifth president in Compassion’s 61-year history.