Ellsworth Culver

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Ellsworth Culver,(deceased) was Mercy Corps’ Co-Founder and Senior Vice-President, he died age 78 on 15 August 2005.

"Ells joined Mercy Corps in 1982, helping Dan O’Neill establish the organization. Over the next two decades, his leadership, vision and caring heart were central to building Mercy Corps into what it is today." [1]

On January 10 2006 "a representative of the North Korean government honored the late Ellsworth Culver, Mercy Corps' Co-Founder, for his committed, innovative humanitarian work in that country." [2]

"Culver began his international career as a teacher on the Isle of Pines, Cuba. He moved from Cuba to Taiwan and then on to the Philippines developing and leading a variety of youth leadership and humanitarian projects. In 1958, he joined World Vision as Executive Vice President and led the organization’s expansion throughout Asia and Latin America. In the sixties, during the height of the civil rights conflict in the U.S., Culver became involved in establishing corporate community involvement programs in San Francisco by developing employee task forces to work on emerging inner-city social issues. Over the next ten years, the program expanded to over 75 major corporations across the U.S.

"During the Cambodian refugee crisis Culver returned to the international field as Executive Vice President of Food for the Hungry. His work with refugees included stationing a rescue ship on the South China Sea; aiding refugee camps in Southeast Asia; and establishing food distribution programs in Kenya, Haiti, Peru and Bangladesh.

"In 1982, Culver joined Dan O’Neill to establish Mercy Corps in Portland, Oregon. He directed the expansion of the agency’s international relief and development programs into Africa, Asia and Central America. Culver has been instrumental in the development of Mercy Corps Balkans programs, leading the agency’s first mission to Kosovo in 1993. He currently provides leadership for new initiatives in North Korea, China and other East Asian nations, and has been instrumental in helping to form international NGO coalitions to assist these regions.

"Culver serves as Vice President of the Arca Foundation, which provides grants to help shape domestic social policy and promotes efforts to normalize relations with Cuba. He is a member of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, and helped form the church’s Global Action Committee to address issues around the world through global outreach activities. Culver is a gifted and inspirational speaker. He has appeared before numerous convocations, civic clubs and churches providing his reflections on current global events and sharing his personal experiences. Culver and his wife Esme Jo live in Portland, Oregon and enjoy gardening and travel." [3]

Was married to Esme Jo Culver.

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