Richmond, VA – Today, World Pediatric Project (WPP) announces the appointment of Vafa Akhavan as its new chief executive officer effective October 25th, 2021. Vafa will succeed Interim Chief Executive Officer Brian Shaw.
Vafa comes to WPP from his role as President and senior adviser at NueBridge, Ltd, a global consultancy of operating executives serving corporate and private equity clients. Prior to NueBridge, he was CEO of Forum Corporation, a leadership development consultancy in Boston, and global vice-president of Information and Media, a segment of McGraw-Hill in New York. Vafa brings to WPP a wealth of executive leadership, including a career of working with complex, global organizations across seven industries in 16 countries.
Vafa currently serves on the Board of Directors of Children Believe, a global non-profit focused on the health and wellbeing of children in underserved communities. He also serves on the Children Believe Audit & Risk committee as well as the Governance & HR committee.
“Vafa is the right leader for World Pediatric Project at such a pivotal time,” said Dr. Brian Clare, Chair of World Pediatric Project’s executive board of directors. “It’s important we have someone in the CEO role with the knowledge and experience of tackling complex challenges in global organizations to help us reach and heal even more children in the coming years. We’re excited for the energy and vision Vafa brings to WPP and how he can help build on the successes of the last 20 years.”
“This is an incredible opportunity for contributing to what can only be considered the strategic imperative of our time, transforming the future through children,” Vafa said. “It is an honor to be a part of an organization and team that has such considerable impact in the lives of children, families, and communities.”
Vafa’s appointment concludes a six-month international search process completed by a search committee led by Dr. Donna Brown, a member of World Pediatric Project’s executive board and long-time medical volunteer, and executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles. “Vafa brings a genuine love for people, a compassion for meaningful work, and an ease of conversation that is instantly welcoming,” Dr. Brown says. “Throughout our search, we contacted a diverse and international field of more than 150 prospective candidates. Vafa’s strong background of leading and working in a variety of industries and his global connections, along with a long history of relationship building, are skills that have made him stand out in this process and that make him the right fit during this unique time in WPP’s history. We look forward to his leadership as we take WPP to the next level.”
About World Pediatric Project
World Pediatric Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization celebrating 20 years of healing critically ill children and advancing pediatric healthcare in the world. Since 2001, WPP has sent pediatric diagnostic and surgical teams to low-resource countries in the Caribbean and Central America and has provided children with access to critical care through hospitals in the United States and international partners, mobilizing more than $160 million in services through in-kind contributions and supply donations to reach more than 15,000 children. Learn more at worldpediatricproject.org.