Initiatives of Change USA selects new Executive Director

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Chair of the Initiatives of Change (IofC) USA Board of Directors, H. Alexander Wise, Jr., today announced the hiring of Jacob J. Hershman as Executive Director of IofC USA, effective April 18, 2016. IofC USA is part of a diverse global network with an 80-year track record of peacebuilding, conflict transformation and forging partnerships across divides of race, class, religion and politics. It is known in Richmond for its Hope in the Cities program. In making the announcement, Wise issued the following statement on behalf of the Board:

Jake is a proven leader with sixteen years of management experience with Catholic Relief Services in the Balkans, Southeast Asia, the South Caucasus, the Middle East and the United States. He has led at both the senior level and the grassroots level in conflict and post-conflict environments. He has experience in strategic planning and development work; program design, execution, and evaluation; and in leading teams, setting goals, and managing and reviewing performance. We have been impressed with his servant leadership, authenticity, people skills, his ability to communicate and bridge cultures, his decision-making, and his record of raising funds and of developing partnerships with other organizations. We are confident of his ability to translate planning and strategy into effective programs, enduring impact, and sustainable growth. We also believe Jake embraces IofC’s spiritual foundation. He understands our mandate to nurture a new generation of leaders. He is well connected in both Richmond and Washington, DC.

Hershman has a bachelor’s degree in History from Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, VA, and a master’s degree in International Affairs, from George Washington University, in Washington, D.C.

Long-time IofC National Director Rob Corcoran is pleased to have Jake as the new Executive Director and looks forward to working with him.

Wise added, “Our nation and world are at a critical point in history when peacebuilding, conflict transformation, and building partnerships across the divides of race, class, religion, and politics are much needed. For the future, IofC USA must build on our historical successes and address emerging challenges. Having someone of Jake Hershman’s caliber as the new Executive Director will ensure our ability to do both.”


Susan Corcoran
804 358 1764 ext. 15

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