Habitat for Humanity
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who served as honorary chair of Habitat's succession planning task force, said, "Jonathan Reckford is a wonderful choice to become Habitat for Humanity's new chief executive officer. His background in business will help Habitat navigate the economy and business climate, and his pastoral experiences will help him shepherd Habitat's ministry and assure it continues to share and demonstrate Jesus' teachings worldwide."
"Rosalynn and I look forward to working with thousands of other volunteers to help assure the complete success of Habitat’s worldwide ministry under Jonathan Reckford’s leadership."
Reckford and his wife, Ashley, who is originally from Albany, Georgia, are longtime supporters of Habitat and have worked alongside Habitat partner families in building their homes. The change is a big one, Reckford said, but is a natural next step.
"I have felt an increasing passion to serve more directly in heeding Christ's call to serve the poor and forgotten," he said. "My motivation is best summed up by the desire to live out the great commandment, expressed by Micah as a call to 'act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God'" (Micah 6:8).
Prior to Habitat
He was previously executive pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church of Edina, Minnesota. Before joining Christ Presbyterian, Reckford was president of stores for the Musicland division of Best Buy, senior vice president of corporate planning and communications for Circuit City, and director of strategic planning for Disney Design and Development.
Christ Presbyterian, a 4,300-member ministry, is recognized as a pioneer in partnering with nongovernmental organizations such as World Vision and Opportunity International (where Reckford is a board member) to combat AIDS in Uganda and which supports cross-cultural missions locally and internationally. Opportunity International is a partner with Habitat on an AIDS-focused project in Africa that features house-building and micro-financing components.
"Henry Blackaby (a pioneer missionary who heads Blackaby Ministries in Georgia) suggests we should take on God-sized tasks because then it is clear to everyone who deserves the credit. It is humbling to get to serve alongside the thousands of committed Habitat associates and volunteers to bring hope and dignity, build communities and strive toward our mission to eradicate poverty housing," Reckford said.
Reckford grew up in North Carolina. He graduated from St. Paul's School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a degree in political science. In 1984, he joined Goldman Sachs, then was awarded the Henry Luce Foundation Scholarship for Young American Leaders. With that, he traveled to South Korea to work with the Seoul Olympic Organizing Committee, working on marketing sponsorships and coaching the Korean national rowing team.
Upon his return from Korea, he graduated in 1989 from Stanford University Graduate School of Business in Palo Alto, California, with a master's in business administration focused on public and non-profit management. There his classmates included Gary Kremen and Ryland Kelley. He joined Marriott's corporate strategy group. In 1991, he moved to Disney Design and Development, and then was named senior vice president, corporate planning and communications for Circuit City Stores, then president of stores of the Musicland Group which was subsequently acquired by Best Buy.