The Board of Directors of Global Mapping International has appointed Jon Hirst as president and CEO, effective September 20, 2012. Hirst succeeds Mike O’Rear, who passed away in January. Hirst will lead GMI’s efforts in research, mapping and electronic publishing to provide global mission leaders with vital decision-making information, such as Operation World and The Future of the Global Church.
“Jon is the board’s first choice to build upon the amazing legacy left by Mike O’Rear’s leadership of GMI,” said Jane Overstreet, chair of the GMI board. “We believe his experience and understanding of the missions community, combined with fresh ideas, create a wonderful blend to take GMI forward into the future.”
Hirst comes to GMI with a background in mission innovation, publishing and leadership. Executive Director of Communications for HCJB Global from 2005 to 2009, Hirst has developed communications and technology innovation initiatives for organizations including SIL, The Evangelical Alliance Mission, the Bible League, EMIS, The Seed Company and the Forum of Bible Agencies. Previously, he launched one of the first interactive global evangelistic youth websites while serving with One Hope.
Most recently Hirst and his wife Mindy have mentored leaders and authors through their Generous Mind think tank. Jon is co-author (with Mindy Hirst and Dr. Paul Hiebert) of Through the River: Understanding your assumptions about truth and co-editor (with Rev. Jim Reapsome) of Innovation in Mission. Jon, Mindy and their three children reside in Colorado Springs, where they are active members of Fellowship Bible Church.
Interim President Bill Dickson said, “Jon Hirst is a true digital native and has been an excellent advisor to GMI and the broader mission community on how to use new technologies to better do our work. His leadership will resonate with an emerging generation of church and mission leaders as well as a new generation of GMI staff and volunteers who will serve them.”
“I am honored to serve the global mission community,” said Hirst. “GMI brings together my passion for mission, technology and publishing in innovative ways that resource ministry leaders around the world to make spirit-led, wise decisions that advance the Kingdom.”
GMI, a 501(c)(3) mission research agency founded in 1983, is a member of Missio Nexus and the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, and subscribes to the Lausanne Covenant.