Santiago Mellado

Santiago Heriberto Mellado (born April 6, 1963[1]), sometimes known as Jim, Jimmy, or James Mellado, is the President and CEO of Compassion International, a holistic child development 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 and 1987 Pan American Games as a decathlete[1]. He serves as a trustee for Fuller Theological Seminary and on the board of directors of the Al Oerter Foundation which runs the Art of the Olympians program.[4]

Santiago Mellado
Santiago Heriberto Mellado

(1963-04-06) April 6, 1963
ResidenceColorado, USA
Alma materHarvard University Southern Methodist University
OccupationPresident and CEO of Compassion International
Years active2013–present
Board member ofFuller Theological Seminary, Al Oerter Foundation/Art of the Olympian
ChildrenEster and son-in-law Matt, Elizabeth and son-in-law Matthew, Davy


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.[5][6]

He graduated cum laude with a Mechanical Engineering degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.[7]

Olympic Games

Mellado competed in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, representing his birth nation, El Salvador, in the decathlon.[1] He placed 26th of 42 athletes who qualified,[8] and set national records for the highest-ever performance in the decathlon, men's high jump, 400m, 110m high hurdles, pole vault, and javelin.[9] The decathlon record still stands as of October 2019.

Pan American Games

Mellado competed in the 1987 Pan American Games and placed fourth in the decathlon.[7]

Compassion International

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, two sons-in-law, and three grandchildren.


  1. "Santiago Mellado Bio, Stats, and Results". Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  2. "Santiago "Jimmy" Mellado". Compassion International. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  3. "Who We Are". Willow Creek Association. Retrieved 2011-12-15.
  4. "Art of the Olympians | Jimmy Mellado". Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  5. Schlesinger, Leonard A.; Mellado, James. Willow Creek Community Church (A).
  6. "Earthly Empires". BusinessWeek. 2005-05-23. Retrieved 2011-12-15.
  7. "SMU Athletics: Alumnus Database". Retrieved 2011-12-15.
  8. Todor Krastev (2009-08-20). "Men Decathlon Olympic Games 1988 Seoul (KOR) - 28,29.09". Retrieved 2014-03-27.
  9. "Federations Zone / Zona de Federaciones". Retrieved 2014-03-27.
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