The Board of Directors is pleased to announce Cruz as the new CEO beginning later this month.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, May 23, 2024 /24-7PressRelease/ — CHOICE Humanitarian’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce Heather Hammond Cruz as the new CEO beginning May 28, 2024. The board has charged Cruz with providing visionary leadership as she oversees CHOICE’s global staff in fulfilling the organization’s mission to disrupt global poverty and change lives.

“On behalf of the board, we are thrilled to welcome Heather to this integral position for CHOICE Humanitarian,” shared Teresa Larsen, board chair. “Her proven experience as a dynamic leader, innovator, and collaborator aligns with CHOICE’s strategic goals for both stability and growth. Heather possesses expertise to expand advocacy for CHOICE, which will allow us to multiply our impact in the rural communities we work with around the world. The future is bright, and we can’t wait for what’s ahead with Heather at the helm.”

Cruz comes to CHOICE with fifteen-plus years of experience across corporate social responsibility, social impact operations, sustainability and strategy, and event management. In addition to leadership positions at Nu Skin (VP of CSR & Sustainability, Executive Director of the Force for Good Foundation), Shanghai-based MicroBenefits, and Nike, she has also been deeply involved with nonprofits for several years via board and volunteer positions. Through Cruz’s career milestones and humanitarian experiences, she has honed her capabilities in liaising with diverse global teams.

“I could not be more excited to accept this position with CHOICE Humanitarian,” said Cruz. “I’ve admired CHOICE’s approach to international development for many years. This organization’s four decades of impact have been built by dedicated founders, hardworking staff, passionate supporters, and resilient communities. I’m honored to lead CHOICE in the next stage of its journey, and I look forward to connecting with donors and partners who share our motivation to make a difference.”

Bret Backman, who has generously served as interim CEO, will return to his role as a board member. Jonathan Campbell will soon be concluding his oversight of a business restructure for CHOICE. Steve Schaefer, board member, has also been a key contributor to the business restructure process. These individuals have graciously volunteered their time and skills to keep the organization and staff moving forward during this transitory period. The board of directors is immensely grateful to Backman, Campbell, and Schaefer for their significant generosity and valued support, and it appreciates their additional consultation for Cruz as she begins her leadership role.

Please join CHOICE in welcoming Heather to its community.

For more information about CHOICE Humanitarian and its impactful work in disrupting global poverty, please visit

CHOICE Humanitarian is an international development nonprofit organization with four decades of experience working to disrupt global poverty in Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, and Peru. CHOICE works with and through rural communities in some of the most remote, underserved regions of these countries where community members face the many dimensions of poverty, including lack of income generation opportunities, limited educational access, malnutrition and food insecurity, little or no health infrastructure, and more. CHOICE’s approach is locally-led, data-driven, and sustainable, and its programs and projects unlock choice, build capacity, and cultivate resilience. For more information, visit

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