Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado began his service with Compassion in June of 2013 and was officially installed as President & CEO in September that same year. Jimmy is responsible for leading and managing all aspects of this global organization and over 3,000 employees worldwide.
Jimmy 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 (including the Compassion countries of Nicaragua, Bolivia, El Salvador, Colombia and the Philippines), Jimmy has experienced firsthand the powerful impact thriving local churches can have on their communities. Compassion’s church-based approach to delivering a holistic child development program resonates deeply with Jimmy’s soul.
Prior to joining Compassion Jimmy was President of the Willow Creek Association (WCA) for approximately twenty years and became skilled in managing the complexities of running a multi-national organization. The WCA is a not-for-profit ministry completely dedicated to helping local churches thrive. During his tenure leading the WCA, worldwide membership grew from 860 churches to over 7,000 churches, and annual conference attendance from approximately 10,000 to more than 180,000.
Jimmy married his wife Leanne in 1986 and they have three children named Ester, Elisabeth and David as well as son-in-law Matt who is married to Ester. Together they sponsor eight Compassion children living in Central America.