World of Children has appointed Stefaan Poortman as its next executive director following a lengthy nationwide search. The California-based global children’s charity announced the selection in a March press release.
Poortman comes to World of Children from Global Heritage Fund (GHF), where he has served as CEO for nearly four years. With about 14 years at GHF, Poortman was first brought on as a project manager in a temporary capacity in 2005.
His work in this position saw him hired on permanently as manager of international development and partnerships. He would continue to climb the ladder of the organization; becoming CEO and gaining a seat on the board of trustees by April of 2015.
Poortman brings exemplary executive and management experience coupled with a truly international perspective that makes him a natural fit for World of Children. Born to Dutch parents in Washington D.C., he grew up in the United States, Zimbabwe and the U.K. He speaks English, Dutch, French and Spanish.
With his family in Scotland at the time, Poortman attended the University of Edinburgh for his higher education, earning a master of arts degree in economics and graduating with honors in 2000.
Soon after, he moved back to D.C.; interning at the World Foundation for Environment & Development and briefly working as a junior analyst at Chemonics International, Inc. An avid skier, Poortman also worked as a professional ski instructor during this period.
A one-and-a-half-year stint as a policy analyst for the Climate, Energy and Pollution Program at the World Resources Institute followed. He then made his first move to Global Heritage Fund where he would spend the next nearly 14 years. In 2015, Poortman attended the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and completed its Executive Program in Nonprofit Leadership.
“After conducting a nationwide executive search, it is an honor and a privilege to welcome Stefaan to our World of Children family,” said Co-Founder Harry Leibowitz in the press release. “Our main focus has been and always will be to change the future for a vulnerable child, and Stefaan’s success over the last two decades brings an elevated approach to our organization that will allow us to explore new and innovative ways to deepen our commitment to our Honorees and the children they serve.”
Stefaan Poortman’s appointment has taken effect and he is now officially the current executive director of World of Children.