Morris & Berger Recruits CEO for World of Children

April 16, 2019 – The non-profit sector is one of the fastest growing areas within executive search today. Recently, Morris & Berger, a recruitment firm that specializes in searches for non-profit organizations, placed Stefaan Poortman as executive director of World of Children in Irvine, CA.

“After conducting a nationwide executive search, it is an honor and a privilege to welcome Stefaan to our World of Children family,” said Harry Leibowitz, co-founder of the organization. “Our main focus has been and always will be to change the future for a vulnerable child, and Stefaan’s success over the last two decades brings an elevated approach to our organization that will allow us to explore new and innovative ways to deepen our commitment to our Honorees and the children they serve.”

World of Children wanted an entrepreneurial, visionary leader and fundraiser to oversee and propel its next phase of growth in service of the world’s most vulnerable children. Mr. Poortman fit that bill. With more than 20 years of international non-profit experience, he most recently served as chief executive officer for Global Heritage Fund. Before that, he held positions with the World Resources Institute, Chemonics International and the World Foundation for Environment and Development. He is currently an advisor to FieldWorks in the U.K. and previously served as an advisor to the CEO and founder of Artisan Connect.

A well-respected leader in the international non-profit community, Mr. Poortman brings his expertise to World of Children’s unique venture philanthropy model of discovering and investing in real-life heroes who are working on the ground in their communities. Mr. Poortman will focus on amplifying the organization’s impact through new and ongoing strategic partnerships, corporate and institutional giving, and expanding on sustainable relationships with World of Children honorees around the globe.


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World of Children’s mission is to find, fund, elevate and educate high-impact humanitarians who are improving the lives of children. Each year, thousands of nominations are reviewed to find and recognize the very best change makers for children worldwide. Since 1998, World of Children has dedicated more than $13 million in grants to high-impact programs for children, led by nearly 120 honorees working in over 50 countries. 

Satisfaction from Success

Founded in 1984, Morris & Berger’s specialty practice spans the non-profit sector. It includes institutions of higher education, independent schools, foundations, human and social service agencies and clients in the performing and visual arts.

The firm is led by partners Jay Berger and Karin Berger Stellar. It has recruited CEOs for non-profits like Child Abuse Listening Mediation, the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, Hospice of Santa Barbara, National Math and Science Initiative, Portland State University Foundation and the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara.

“My entire career has been devoted to serving the non-profit sector,” said Mr. Berger. “There is a wonderful satisfaction that comes from enhancing the success of our non-profit clients.”

Ms. Stellar, for her part, said she has a strong commitment to those who are working to help others. “I tend to see the best in people and believe that those who are committed to the non-profit sector genuinely want to make the world a better place,” she said.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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