Passing the Torch: Child Foundation’s New President
I am delighted to introduce Child Foundation’s new president, Gary Gamer.
will become Child Foundation’s new President, serving as its Chief Executive
Officer, starting Monday, September 28. He has spent the last ten years as a
consultant, working internationally in child protection and family welfare with
groups such as UNICEF and Islamic World Relief. Previously he lived and worked
in Portland as the Director of the immigration and refugee agency SOAR of the
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon.
Gary’s career also includes fifteen years in senior leadership positions at Holt International Children’s Services, where he served as CEO, and as the Peace and Justice Coordinator for the U.S. National Council of Churches USA. Gary has worked with NGOs in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, Latin America and the U.S. in program support and development. He has lived in countries of these regions. Gary is pleased to be returning to Portland, Oregon, Child Foundation’s hometown.
Clearly, Gary brings a world of experience to us. Just like all Child Foundation donors, he has huge respect for each child’s potential. It is clear he is practiced at building programs that care for the whole child, not just their intellect. And he is passionate about the successes that brighten the world.
You all know that the last year has been one of the most challenging in the history of our organization. We faced the none renewal of our license to send funds to Iran by US Government Treasury Department, an intrusive 13-month IRS audit, not to mention the economic and health challenges of the worst pandemic in recent memory. Amidst that, Child Foundation implemented the new Iran Cosponsorship Program which is a complex and legally viable food import program to Iran that distributes needed resources to children in every province of the country.
Donors also helped us provide significant emergency aid in 2020. For the Sistan and Baluchestan flooding in Iran early this year, we used our OFAC General License E funds to rebuild and plug kids back into school. With the same OFAC permissions, we paid for 4,200 care packages to overwhelmed Iranian families. For Afghan children, we sent hundreds of hygiene packages to families and pediatric patients in addition to extra food. Donor generosity also purchased COVID-19 health resources for Cambodian classrooms. And finally, we expanded in 2020 with a new office in Kabul, Afghanistan and programs in India and Tajikistan.
Through these difficult times that also affected our donors, our community did not forget us. You did not stop supporting us and we did not stop working for you and our children. I am happy to inform you that we have met all these challenges with success. We changed a year full of issues to a year full of results. I can only attribute this success to three factors:
1. Unprecedented support from thousands of loyal sponsors, devoted volunteers and community members who remain the backbone of our
2. Determined and focused management from our Board of Directors
3. Exceptionally talented, creative, tireless, and professional staff
I am pleased to announce that we remain one the most reputable, transparent, and reliable US NGOs supporting children in Iran, Afghanistan, and several other countries. It is genuinely exciting that we found a new leader to take this stable system to greater heights beyond my capabilities. To that end, I say goodbye to our loyal supporters and leave the community in Gary’s capable hands. My final request is keep changing the world through supporting children in need of education, one child at a time.
Sincerely, Navid Seyedali, President