Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado is President and CEO of Compassion International. He has a deep love and passion for the beauty and potential of local churches fulfilling their Jesus-given mandate to redeem and restore this world for His name’s sake. Born in El Salvador and raised in seven different countries, Jimmy has experienced firsthand the powerful impact thriving local churches can have on their communities, especially in under-resourced environments. Compassion’s church-driven approach to delivering a holistic child development program resonates with Jimmy at a deep level.
Prior to joining Compassion in 2013, Jimmy was president of the Willow Creek Association (now the Global Leadership Network) — a global ministry completely dedicated to helping local churches thrive. During his 20-year tenure leading the GLN, worldwide membership grew from 860 churches to over 7,000 churches. Jimmy was also key in launching and hosting the GLN’s Global Leadership Summit, an annual not-for-profit event created to address the dire need for excellent leadership training in local churches and other people-centered organizations around the world. Jimmy’s educational background includes a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School. He is also an accomplished athlete and had the privilege of competing in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games for El Salvador. Jimmy is married to Leanne and they have three adult children and four grandchildren.