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Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, on tackling housing poverty

Habitat for Humanity International’s CEO, Jonathan Reckford, sheds light on their efforts to tackle housing poverty in more than 70 countries by looking at the challenge through both equity and climate lenses.

Jonathan provides insight on how former US President Jimmy Carter became a key supporter of their work and gives us a behind-the-scenes overview of this transformative non-profit with $2 billion in annual revenues.

Habitat’s work involves innovative finance, extensive volunteering, philanthropy, advocacy and much more. They work with families who can’t get a conventional bank mortgage and who are often in highly marginalised communities.

We learn about volunteering and the concept of “sweat equity”; we get an overview of the ethical investments that support Habitat’s work; and we are presented with the dynamics of today’s global housing crisis.

Housing affordability has become shockingly out of reach for many and this episode is for anyone who wishes to understand the solutions being deployed to address this crisis and how they can get involved in making a positive difference.

About Jonathan Reckford

Jonathan T.M. Reckford is chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International, a global Christian housing organization that has helped more than 46 million people construct, rehabilitate or preserve their homes.

Since 2005, when he took the top leadership position, local Habitat organizations in all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries have grown from serving 125,000 individuals each year to helping more than 7.1 million people last year build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter.

After graduating from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill where he was a Morehead Scholar, Jonathan worked as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs. He was also the recipient of a Henry Luce Scholarship, which enabled him to do marketing work for the Seoul Olympic Organizing Committee and coach the Korean rowing team in preparation for the 1988 Olympics. 

He earned his Master of Business Administration degree from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business before spending much of his career in the for-profit sector, including executive and managerial positions at Marriott, The Walt Disney Co., and Best Buy. 

While serving as executive pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church near Minneapolis, Minnesota, he was recruited for the CEO position at Habitat.

Jonathan is the chair of Leadership 18 and is a member of the Freddie Mac Housing Advisory Council. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Urban Steering Committee for the World Economic Forum.

Named the most influential nonprofit leader in America in 2017 by The NonProfit Times, Jonathan is the author of Our Better Angels: Seven Simple Virtues That Will Change Your Life and the World.

He and his wife, Ashley, have three children and live in Atlanta.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JReckford and on Instagram @JReckford.


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