Santiago Mellado

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Santiago Mellado
Born Santiago Heriberto Mellado
(1963-04-06) April 6, 1963 (age 52)
El Salvador
Alma mater Harvard University
Occupation President and CEO of Compassion International
Years active 2013–present
Religion Christianity

Santiago (Jim, Jimmy, or James) Heriberto Mellado (born April 6, 1963)[1] is the President and CEO of Compassion International, a Christian child sponsorship organization dedicated to the long-term development of children living in poverty around the world, which is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado.[2] Mellado previously served as President of the Willow Creek Association (WCA) in South Barrington, Illinois, from 1993 to 2013.[3] He also competed in the 1988 Summer Olympics as a decathlete.[1]


Mellado is a 1991 graduate of Harvard Business School. While a student at Harvard, he wrote a case study on the Willow Creek Community Church which has become a part of the curriculum at Harvard Business School.[4][5]

He graduated cum laude with a Mechanical Engineering degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.[6]

Olympic Games[edit]

Mellado competed in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, representing his birth nation, El Salvador, in the decathlon.[1] He placed 26th,[7] but set national records for the highest-ever performance in the decathlon, men's high jump, 110m high hurdles, and pole vault.[8] The decathlon record still stands as of March 2014.[9]

A year before that he competed in the 1987 Pan American Games and placed fourth in the decathlon.[6]

Compassion International[edit]

Mellado became the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Compassion International in 2013 when he replaced retiring CEO Wess Stafford.[2]


He and his wife, Leanne, were married in 1986. They have three children and reside in Colorado.


  1. ^ a b c "Santiago Mellado Bio, Stats, and Results". Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  2. ^ a b "Santiago "Jimmy" Mellado". Compassion International. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  3. ^ "Who We Are". Willow Creek Association. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  4. ^ Schlesinger, Leonard A.; Mellado, James. Willow Creek Community Church (A). 
  5. ^ "Earthly Empires". BusinessWeek. 2005-05-23. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  6. ^ a b "SMU Athletics: Alumnus Database". Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  7. ^ Todor Krastev (2009-08-20). "Men Decathlon Olympic Games 1988 Seoul (KOR) - 28,29.09". Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  8. ^ "Federations Zone / Zona de Federaciones". Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  9. ^ "Salvadorian records in athletics".