Denomination’s former treasurer appointed ADRA acting president

Jul. 05, 2012 Silver Spring, Maryland, United States

ADRA/ANN staff (Photo: Ansel Oliver)

Former Seventh-day Adventist world church Treasurer Robert L. Rawson was appointed Tuesday to serve as acting president of Adventist Development and Relief Agency International until a permanent successor is found.

The move follows the June 25 board action to remove Rudi Meier, who served as president since 2010.

"Elder Rawson is a leader who is widely respected and accomplished with experience at various levels of administrative leadership,” said Geoffrey Mbwana, chair of the ADRA International Board of Directors. “We have every confidence in him to lead ADRA during this time of transition and until a new president is appointed and is in place."

A seven-member search committee – comprised of current ADRA International staff, ADRA network employees and board members – is conducting an international search and will provide names of qualified candidates to the board from which the next president will be selected.

Rawson is expected to begin his duties Monday, July 9.

An ordained minister, Rawson, 75, was treasurer of the Adventist world church from 1995 until his retirement in 2002. He served the denomination in finance-related positions for more than 40 years, with posts in the North Pacific Union Conference, Southeastern California Conference, Iowa Conference, and vice president for finance for the Adventist Media Center in Newbury Park, California. Rawson also brings experience gained while working in the Philippines, Japan and Singapore.

"I recognize the importance of this assignment and am humbled by the task ahead,” Rawson said. “My main objective is to do my very best in building a foundation from which the new president can create and strengthen. ADRA has always been one of my favorite organizations and very close to my heart. I believe that through ADRA we are doing God’s work in the way that Jesus did when He was on Earth – heal the sick, feed the hungry, comfort the suffering."

After attending Emmanuel Missionary College (now Andrews University) for three years, Elder Rawson transferred to, and subsequently graduated from, La Sierra University in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

He and his wife, Carolyn, have three adult sons and six grandchildren.

Current residents of Surprise, Arizona, the Rawsons will temporarily relocate to Maryland