Wess Stafford
President and CEO, Compassion International

Dr. Wesley K. Stafford -- Wess -- is president and CEO of Compassion International, the world’s largest Christian child development organization that releases children from poverty. Stafford joined Compassion more than 34 years ago and became president in 1993. Under his leadership, the number of children being served by Compassion has increased exponentially from 180,000 children in 1993 to more than 1 million children in 26 of the world’s poorest countries today.

Stafford is an advocate for children around the world living in poverty. Through his books, "Just A Minute" (Jan. 1, 2012, Moody Publishers), "Too Small to Ignore: Why the Least of These Matters Most" (WaterBrook Press, 2007) and his daily radio feature
"Speak Up With Compassion," broadcast on nearly 800 radio outlets in the U.S., Stafford continues to challenge people to join Compassion in releasing children from poverty.

Stafford’s passion to help children was born of his own childhood experiences growing up in Africa. The son of missionaries, he heard his friends in the Ivory Coast share their hopes and dreams for the future only to watch several of these friends die as victims of poverty. Stafford maintains one strong belief -- God’s children are priceless resources.

While he earned degrees from Biola University, Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College, as well as a Ph.D. from Michigan State, Stafford often says, “Everything I need to know to lead a multi-national organization, I learned from the poor while growing up in an African village.”

Stafford resides with his wife, Donna, near Colorado Springs, Colo. They are the parents of two daughters, Jenny and Katie.