New Executive Director for UMN
New Executive Director for UMN

Dhanan Senathirajah, Chair of the UMN Board of Trustees, is delighted to announce the appointment of Joel Hafvenstein as the next UMN Executive Director. He is confident that Joel will fill the position with wisdom, grace and a deep love for Nepal and Nepali people. 

Joel comes to UMN with substantial experience in international development, mainly in Afghanistan, with a special knowledge of disaster response work. For the last five years, he has worked for Tearfund UK in London in a variety of roles. His most recent position was as Geographic Head, overseeing the work of teams in the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Central and South America. Joel’s breadth of experience and deep commitment to Christian development practice are key strengths that will enhance his work here in UMN. 

Joel is married to Fiona;  the Hafvensteins have two sons, Caleb (4) and Isaac (1). He spent his childhood years in Nepal, as his parents were UMN appointees in the 1970s and 1980s.

He says: “It’s a great honour to take on this role, following in the footsteps of many extraordinary men and women over the past 62 years.  I look forward to the challenge of leading UMN, by God’s grace; and I’m excited to support and strengthen the transformational work of our staff and partners all across Nepal.”

Please pray for Joel, Fiona and their family as they settle in to life in Kathmandu. Joel will begin to work with Mark Galpin as Executive Director Designate from the middle of May, after completing his Language and Orientation programme. He will take over officially on 10 June 2016.

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