Leadership

Board of Directors

Nell Becker-Sweeden

Nell Becker Sweeden has been serving in Nazarene Compassionate Ministries since 2004 and is presently the international director and CEO of NCM, Inc. She has conducted trainings and lectured in over a dozen countries. Nell holds a Ph.D. in practical theology from Boston University and is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene. Nell’s research is on hospitality practice and the life of the Church in light of transnational migration and specifically U.S. Latino/a immigration. She is the author of Church on the Way: Hospitality and Migration.

Nell and her husband, Josh (academic dean of Nazarene Theological Seminary), most recently served as assistant professors of theology and Richard B. Parker co-chairs in Wesleyan Theology at George Fox Evangelical Seminary in Portland, Oregon, before returning to Kansas City. In their spare time, Josh, Nell, and their sons, Elias and Asher, spend as much time as possible outdoors, camping, biking, and hiking.

Jesse Casler

Jesse Casler joined HOPE International in 2004 and currently serves as HOPE’s chief operating officer. He has a B.A. from Eastern Nazarene College and both an M.A. and an MBA from Boston University. The field of microfinance falls at the intersection of these degrees, combining Jesse’s heart for developing countries and his business expertise. Prior to and during his graduate work, Jesse gained experience in international banking at State Street Corporation’s international headquarters in Massachusetts and later at a subsidiary of Advent Software.

He has traveled extensively throughout Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America working on the finance, accounting, operations, and administration teams while at HOPE. He has served as a church board member and treasurer and is deeply committed to HOPE’s Christian mission. Jesse and his wife, Krista, live in Lancaster, PA, with their three children.

Michael Cerna

Michael Cerna serves as VP of strategy with Mission: Hope, providing direction for programs, collaborative partnerships, and development of U.S.-based and global staff. He has a master’s degree in international policy and a passion for helping unite the local and global Church to vibrantly proclaim and demonstrate the gospel.

Prior to joining Mission: Hope, Michael served as a missions pastor at an Atlanta-based, multi-site church. He previously worked with various nonprofits, domestically and abroad, as an economic policy analyst focused on China, the Palestinian Territories, and South America. Mission: Hope’s focus on people-focused, community transformation combines Michael’s experience in strategic partnerships and leadership development with his desire to strengthen the local church.

Edward Densham

Edward is the director of international projects with Samaritan’s Purse (SP), in which he provides management oversight to international activities. This includes the 15 SP field offices and numerous partner programs. He provides general direction and solutions for complex issues to improve coordination, cooperation, and consistency worldwide in all SP projects and programs, most recently leading the emergency response for Samaritan’s Purse in Liberia and the Philippines.
Edward has his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from Loughborough University in the UK and his MBA from Sydney Graduate School of Management in Australia. Married for 18 years, Edward and his wife, Bethany, have two school-age children and enjoy many activities with them, including hiking and a variety of sports.

Herb Ehresman

Herb joined Compassion International in 2006. He has held a variety of program director roles focusing on program design and delivery throughout Compassion’s network of field countries and partner churches. He currently serves as the program development principal for strategic alliances, a new global function intended to increase Compassion’s collaboration and engagement with like-minded organizations. Prior to Compassion, Herb has worked in both corporate and military settings, holding jobs as a civil engineer, university professor, and business consultant. He holds a BS in civil engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy, an MS in geotechnical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Duke University.

Herb, his wife Dawn, and their four children live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where they enjoy raising goats, being outside, and attending a church planted by the Anglican Church of Rwanda.

JoAnn Flett

Professor JoAnn Flett joined Eastern University faculty in 2009. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, she has 20 years of accounting and finance experience in industries that include education, government, retirement communities, and commercial real estate. She has held senior accounting and management positions for several organizations including Delaware County Community College, Dunwoody Village, Pura Vida Coffee, Agent General for Queensland (London, U.K.), Bettinger Mifflin Rich C.P.A. Group, and Spieker Properties LLC.

She lives in Newtown Square, PA, with her husband, Eric (who teaches theology in Eastern’s undergraduate program), and two sons, Miles and Elliot. They are members of Broad Street Ministry on the Avenue of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Mike Mercer

Mike is the founder and CEO of Compassion First, a Christian relief/anti-trafficking organization that has pioneered holistic, long-term care and rehabilitation for survivors of child sex trafficking in Indonesia. Their work is also supported by peer-to-peer law enforcement training efforts, legal advocacy for survivors, and community development work in severely vulnerable communities.

Prior to working for Compassion First, Mike was the co-founder of Foursquare Disaster Relief (FDR) and served in various pastoral roles in Beaverton, Oregon, following his graduation from Multnomah University in 1995. Mike remains an advisor to FDR International and an ordained minister in the Foursquare Church. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, Kymra, their three children, and an Australian Labradoodle. He loves golf and martial arts and is good at neither.

Joan Mussa

Joan Mussa has provided World Vision U.S. with leadership in communications and fundraising for more than two decades. In 1985, Joan came to World Vision to produce fundraising videos about the Ethiopian food crisis. She was later based in Nairobi, Kenya, and worked throughout Africa before returning to the United States.

Joan was named senior vice president for advocacy and communications in 2005. In 2009, private fundraising was added to her portfolio. Under Joan’s energetic leadership, achievements have included a thorough brand review, development of advocacy and government relations efforts, launch of a capital campaign, and creation of award-winning print and electronic communications. Among her current areas of focus is a project to develop new and innovative fundraising methods. Joan holds a master’s degree from the University of Michigan. She and her husband are the parents of three children.

Micah Payton

Micah is of counsel at the Law Office of Dustin Sparks, LLC and represents nonprofit organizations, charter schools, and churches. Prior to his current role, he served as assistant general counsel for Compassion International, focusing on HR matters, contracts, intellectual property, marketing, litigation, policy/legislation, and religious freedom issues.

Prior to his role with Compassion, Micah served as assistant attorney general at the Colorado Department of Law in the civil litigation and employment law section. He is a graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and James Madison University. He lives, serves, and plays in Monument, Colorado, with his wonderful wife, three children, and his Newfoundland dog.

Nathan Bult

Nathan is the vice president of public and government affairs at Bethany Christian Services. Prior to joining Bethany, he served as a senior communications adviser at the Department of Health and Human Services. Nathan began his career working for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served seven years. As Bethany’s vice president of public and government affairs, Nathan helps Bethany execute on strategy, policy, and communications that is essential to their ability to serve children and families. Nathan and his wife, Laura, live in Washington, DC’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Staff

Chad Hayward

Chad Hayward serves as Executive Director for Accord Network. Prior to this role, Chad served  as the senior adviser for the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at USAID.

Prior to joining USAID, he spent several years on Capitol Hill, where he served as communications director & policy aide to members of Congress. Before his time in Washington, Chad worked as director of operations for an organization working to encourage engagement with persecuted Christians worldwide, as well as for a development/consulting firm that specialized in helping nonprofits. Chad holds a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Wesleyan University and resides in Southwest Michigan.

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