ChildFund International Names New CEO: Isam Ghanim to succeed Anne Lynam Goddard

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Cheri Dahl

ChildFund International Names New CEO:

Isam Ghanim to succeed Anne Lynam Goddard as the global nonprofit's 9th president

Richmond, Virginia | January 24, 2022  ChildFund International's Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Isam Ghanim will join the organization as its new President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Anne Lynam Goddard as she retires after 15 years of leading the 83-year-old organization.

Currently president of Search for Common Ground, a $60 million organization focused on transforming how the world deals with conflict, Ghanim's career in international development began at CARE Sudan, just after he completed his master's degree at Sudan's University of Khartoum. In his 21 years with CARE, Ghanim held various roles in Sudan, Somalia, India and at the regional level before eventually becoming its Vice President for Global Program Resources and Learning. He held that position from 2003 until 2007, when he joined ChildFund as Vice President for the Africa region. Ghanim would later assume responsibility for the Asia and Americas regions as VP of Global Operations, and then, with his promotion to Executive Vice President for Programs in 2011, for program development, the role he held until his departure to SFCG in 2018.

The appointment comes after a six-month, global search process for which a Board search committee engaged Russell Reynolds, an international search firm.

“Our decision was unanimous, and we are incredibly pleased to welcome Isam,” says Lyn McDermid, ChildFund's Board chair. “He was a standout among the 100-plus candidates we considered, with his remarkable breadth of experience, diverse contributions, already-established credibility within ChildFund, and the unprecedented growth he led at Search for Common Ground.”

Ghanim joins ChildFund just after the launch of a new, 10-year strategy that aims to multiply the organization's impact and reach. “He's the right person at the right time for this organization,” McDermid adds. “Isam knows ChildFund, he knows the landscape in which we operate, and he returns to us with an even broader view and experience that will enhance his ability to lead the implementation of our new strategy while sustaining the momentum and energy we have already achieved.”

“I am beyond thrilled to leave the leadership of ChildFund's in Isam's hands,” says Anne Goddard. “Of course it is bittersweet, but I could not have hoped for a more fitting successor, someone who also knows and loves ChildFund. Make no mistake, though – Isam loves ChildFund enough to challenge it, and he won't hesitate to do so. And that, especially, fills me with great hope for ChildFund's future impact for children.”.

Isam Ghanim will join ChildFund as its new CEO on March 1, with Goddard supporting the transition until her retirement in May.



About ChildFund

Founded in 1938, ChildFund works throughout Asia, Africa and the Americas — including the United States — to connect children with what they need to grow up healthy, educated, skilled and safe, no matter where they are. Last year, we reached 16.2 million children and family members in 24 countries. About 200,000 Americans support our work by sponsoring individual children or investing in ChildFund programs. Find out more at

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