Board of Directors and Staff
Jesse Casler - HOPE International
Michael Cerna - Mission:Hope
Kristen Check - Water Mission
Edward Densham - Samaritan's Purse
Ravi Jayakaran - Medical Ambassadors
Lucas Koach - Food for the Hungry
Joan Mussa - World Vision
Gil Odendaal - World Relief Corporation
Micah Payton - Compassion International
Jonathan Wiles - Living Water International
Chad Hayward - Accord Network--ex officio
Chad Hayward - Executive Director, Accord Network
Jon Creasy - Member Services Director, Accord Network
Joan Mussa has provided World Vision U.S. with leadership in communications and fundraising for more than two decades. In 1985, Mussa came to World Vision to produce fundraising videos about the Ethiopian food crisis. She was later based in Nairobi, Kenya, and worked throughout the continent before returning to the United States.
Mussa was named senior vice president for advocacy and communications in 2005. In 2009, private fundraising was added to her portfolio. Under Mussa’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.
Mussa holds a master’s degree from the University of Michigan. She and her husband are the parents of three children.
Kristen Check is Program Evaluation Coordinator at Water Mission, a Christian nonprofit engineering organization which provides sustainable safe water, sanitation and hygiene solutions for people in developing countries and disaster areas. At Water Mission Kristen is responsible for designing and implementing evaluation and research initiatives which support Water Mission’s “best-in-class” standard, providing evidence of the effectiveness and impact of Water Mission’s approach. In this capacity, she manages large-scale research grants from organizations such as the World Bank and supervises international field staff for multiple, ongoing international research projects.
Kristen holds an M.A. degree in anthropology from the University of South Carolina and a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin. In 2017, she also completed a post-graduate certificate from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Public Health. Kristen has published articles in numerous national and international journals, including Practicing Anthropology, and has presented her research at several academic and industry conferences. Kristen, her husband, and infant son live in Charleston, SC.
Jonathan Wiles is Vice President of Program Excellence at Living Water International. In that role, he leads a team of subject matter experts—integrating disciplines like public health, sustainability, engineering, and missiology—who focus on new approaches, tools, and organizational learning. He also leads Living Water’s long-range strategic planning efforts, consults with other organizations on strategy development and change management, and chairs the steering committee of the Accord WASH Alliance.
For six years, Jonathan was based at Schloss Mittersill, an intentional Christian community and study center in Austria, where he served as Director of Communications and a member of the senior leadership team. He has completed an MA in International Development from Eastern University and postgraduate work in biblical and cultural studies at Regent College. Jonathan and his wife Maridyth have three children and are based in Houston, Texas.
Gil Odendaal serves as the Vice President of Integral Mission with World Relief. Prior to holding his present position he served as Global Director for PEACE Implementation with Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California and as Global Director for the HIV/AIDS Initiative under Kay Warren facilitating the deployment of more than 10,000 short term missionaries. He has thirty years of ministry experience as missionary, pastor, educator, and leader. For the past 15 years he has progressively immersed himself in community development and the church’s fight against HIV and AIDS, especially in the African context.
Other professional positions held by Gil include Regional Coordinator for Africa with Medical Ambassadors International. He also served as Regional Coordinator for Russia and Eastern Europe for a period of two years.
Deeply committed to unleash the untapped human resources latent in the church worldwide and to see health equity become a reality in the southern countries, Gil is committed to mobilize the global church to serve the most vulnerable effectively, spiritually and physically. He has developed innovative programs, projects and campaigns that empower the local church globally toward education, prevention, treatment and care for the infected and affected in the pandemic.
Gil and his wife, Elmarie, were born and raised in South Africa. They have been married for 37 years. They have three adult children and four grandchildren.
Lucas Koach is Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for Food for the Hungry (FH) based out in FH’s Washington, DC Service Center. In his role, he creates strategies for FH’s engagement with the U.S. government, foreign governments, and other key domestic and international stakeholders. He educates audiences on FH’s programing and advocates for effective international relief and development policy specifically in areas of international development assistance, international food assistance, and global health. He designs and implements FH’s advocacy by building sectorial and constituent coalitions nationally and internationally.
As an ordained Anglican priest, Koach walks with faith and policy leaders, exposing them to issues of extreme poverty and casting a faith based vision for compassionate advocacy. Koach brings over twenty years’ of diverse experience in ministry, non-profit, business and political settings. He holds an MA from Denver Seminary, and graduated magna cum laude as an Honors Scholar in Government and International Studies from West Virginia Wesleyan. Koach lives in Arlington, VA with his wife and two children.
Jesse Casler has been with HOPE International since 2004. 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 in 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 two sons.
Micah Payton has served as Assistant General Counsel for Compassion International since 2014. Compassion is a child-advocacy non-profit ministry with a global outreach to 25 countries that pairs compassionate people with those who are suffering from poverty.
In his role, Micah focuses on domestic legal counsel. He advises on HR matters and personnel investigations, 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 & Employment Law Section. In that role, Micah served on a team representing all state government agencies and institutions of higher education at personnel hearings and matters before the State Personnel Board.
He is a graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and James Madison University. He lives and plays in Monument, Colorado with his wife and two children.
Edward Densham is the Director of International Projects with Samaritan’s Purse (SP), in which he provides management oversight to the international activities around the world. This includes the 15 SP field offices and numerous partner programs.
Edward started working with SP in 1999 in South Sudan as the Country Director, moving to the International Headquarters in 2004 as a Regional Manager for Operation Christmas Child, before moving into the Projects department as a Regional Director for East and Southern Africa in 2005. Edward accepted the position of Deputy Director of International Projects in 2008 and transitioned into his current role as Director in 2010. 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 post graduate 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 activities.
Dr. Ravi I. Jayakaran has well over three decades of experience leading International poverty reduction and strategic development programs. He is the President/CEO of Medical Ambassadors International, as well as the Catalyst for Integral Missions for the Lausanne Movement. Dr. Jayakaran has worked in senior management positions in the corporate sector, International NGOs, the Asian Development Bank and the UNDP. He has lived and worked long term in India, Cambodia, China and the US and provided technical support in more than 23 countries on issues of Transformational Development, Integral Mission, Relief & Development, Participatory Poverty alleviation and development, Public health, & prevention of trafficking. Ravi and his wife Vimal live in Ripon, California. They have grown up sons who are married and have their own families.
Besides the Accord network board, Ravi serves as a member of the board of directors on several other boards, including the Chalmers center and Forward Edge International.
More information on Ravi’s work and his publications can be found on his web site at www.ravijayakaran.com
Michael Cerna serves as VP of Strategy with Mission: Hope, providing direction for programs, collaborative partnerships, and development of US-based and global staff. He has a Masters degree in International Policy and has 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 non-profits, 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.
Chad Hayward has served as Executive Director for Accord Network since 2007.
Prior to this, Hayward served in the federal Faith-Based Initiative as the Senior Adviser for the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). USAID is the primary United States governmental agency extending assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms.
Prior to joining USAID, he spent several years on Capitol Hill where he served as Communications Director for Rep. Jim Ryun of Kansas and Policy Aide to Rep. John Thune of South Dakota.
Before his time in Washington, Hayward worked as Director of Operations for Prayer for the Persecuted Church, an organization working to encourage involvement among the church to the subject of persecuted Christians worldwide as well as for a development/consulting firm that specialized in helping non-profit organizations.
Chad holds a Bachelors degree in political science and history from Oklahoma Wesleyan University and resides in Washington DC.
Jon Creasy has been the Member Services Director for the Accord Network since June of 2016.
Jon has experience in relief and development nonprofits both internationally and domestically, as well as a working familiarity with Congressional offices and nonprofit lobbying. Before he worked at Accord, Jon interned with the Austrian Red Cross, the LSZ Burgenland, and for a midwestern Republican Congressperson.
Jon graduated in 2015 from Bryan College with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science, and a Bachelor's degree in Music Performance. He is an Eagle Scout originally from Tennessee, and he now lives in Northeast DC with his wife, Virginia.