The One Child Matters family is thrilled to welcome Scott C. Todd, PhD, as our new president! Dr. Todd has 15 years of experience in nonprofit leadership. As an advocate for children in poverty, he launched and led multiple programs to serve children, responding to HIV/AIDS, promoting child survival, caring for highly vulnerable and orphaned children and launching special initiatives to fight malaria or provide clean water. Dr. Todd also has a distinguished career in medical research. He earned his Ph.D. in immunology from the University of California and was a National Lymphoma Foundation Scholar at Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Todd seeks to mobilize what he calls “a global community of Child Champions” to help create a world in which all children thrive.
Dr. Todd joins the entire One Child Matters family in thanking Mark Pluimer for his faithful service since 2007, emphasizing the strong foundation he has laid for the future. Mark’s wise leadership, integrity and love for children the world over helped forge a remarkable community dedicated to serving children in some of the hardest places around the world. Mark and his wife Dee are eye-witness to the transformation sponsorship can bring to a child’s life, and have sponsored dozens of children into adulthood. Although Mark is retiring as President, he and his wife Dee will continue to sponsor children through One Child Matters.
Frequently Asked Questions
When will Dr. Scott Todd begin his new role as president?
Dr. Todd will start his new role on October 1, 2019.
What experience does Dr. Todd have?
Dr. Todd brings extensive experience to the post as a nonprofit executive leader with strengths in strategy, communication, vision development, and building healthy organizational cultures.
As senior vice president at Compassion International, Dr. Todd launched and led life-saving programs for children with HIV/AIDS, survival programs for babies and expectant mothers, designed home-based care models for orphans, and led disaster response teams. Dr. Todd has also served as chairman of the board for Accord, a network of Christian relief and development organizations. He served as an executive producer for Live58, a film to encourage and challenge the church worldwide to live out Isaiah 58. In addition, he has authored three books on poverty, including Hope Rising. Dr. Todd is also a founding partner in the Integrated Philanthropy Initiative, promoting people-centered program designs in non-profit work to encourage participation, inclusion and voice of the “beneficiary”.
Nearly three years ago, Dr. Todd joined OneChild as an executive leader and has inspired our staff and helped bring hope to thousands of children around the world.
Prior to his nonprofit work, Dr. Todd was an award-winning scientist and medical researcher; he earned his Ph.D. in immunology from the University of California and was a National Lymphoma Foundation Scholar at Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Todd published over a dozen medical discoveries advancing research on metastatic progression in cancer, immune system development and the discovery of a novel class of therapeutics to treat hepatitis C infection. Dr. Todd was awarded grants from the American Cancer Society, National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation.
In the midst of his medical research, Dr. Todd felt a calling from God that changed the course of his life. “About 15 years ago, God called me to leave all that and serve kids in poverty around the world,” explains Dr. Todd. While many of his friends and colleagues were surprised by the step, Dr. Todd says, “Children in poverty don’t need research, they need generous and intelligent action from those of us with the means to make the world a better place for them. That’s the mission I feel called to advance.”
Dr. Todd also has extensive international public speaking experience as a keynote speaker in conferences, leadership events and churches in dozens of countries. He has spoken at the White House, Disney World Night of Joy (with an audience of over 40,000), Q, Catalyst, the Center for Strategic International Studies, and conferences, churches and leadership events from Australia to South Africa to Great Britain. He has also been featured in dozens of television and radio interviews throughout the United States.
Why does Dr. Todd have a passion for helping children?
Dr. Todd says, “My passion comes from the place where my grief, and sometimes anger, collides with my faith. I have been with so many children who suffer – from preventable illness, malnutrition, neglect, abuse, threat of gangs, abject poverty – and the suffering of each child is a weight of grief. But my faith that God is a good and loving Father, that He did not intend for any of these little ones to suffer, allows me to receive that grief as a gift. It’s a gift because it tells me I am close to God’s heart, feeling the grief that He feels for this broken world. It’s numbness that scares me. My faith not only tells me that it is right to grieve, but it also tells me there is reason to hope, because we serve a God of redemption, a God of healing and restoration, and a God of infinite power. So, we get to work. For each one. For the next one, that their story will not be a story of suffering but of God’s love.”
What does Mark Pluimer, the former president, say about Dr. Todd’s new role?
Pluimer fully supports Dr. Todd and is excited about this new season for OneChild. “Scott and I have had the opportunity to work together for several years,” says Pluimer. “I’m deeply impressed by his passion for children in poverty and his forward thinking. He has served with humility, heart and godly character.”
Pluimer supports Dr. Todd and has this encouraging message for him: “I’m truly grateful that God has called you to lead OneChild,” says Pluimer. “As I move into the next stage of my life, I am going to be cheering you on from the sidelines, and I’m going to continue to help in any way I can. And I’ll continue to earn that title ‘Child Champion!’”
What is Dr. Todd’s vision for the future?
Dr. Todd is eager to see what God has in store for OneChild’s ministry and its growing community of Child Champions who are bringing hope to the hard places. “I’m truly excited about the future of our global community,” says Dr. Todd. “We are a community of people who love kids and have faith that a better future is possible for children. We want each child to have that same hope!”
It’s important to Dr. Todd that the ministry continues serving children through a long-term, holistic approach. “It's about children thriving,” explains Dr. Todd. “That includes their physical and social well-being, their cognitive development and their faith.”
Dr. Todd believes that Child Champions, including sponsors, teachers and tutors, all have the power to change lives. “For children facing poverty and injustice, the most important thing they need is someone right alongside them, someone who loves them, encourages them and believes in them to help them prevail,” says Dr. Todd. “We want to raise a generation of overcomers and solution-finders who grow up to be the solutions that their communities need. You do that with people – people are the program. We call those people Child Champions and the OneChild global community is made up of thousands of Child Champions.”
You can be confident that Dr. Todd will continue fighting for children. “The same heart and faith and love for kids that has been at the core of this organization for over 50 years is absolutely rock-solid,” Dr. Todd explains. “I am a follower of Jesus and completely dedicated to the mission of helping children in poverty. Let’s move forward together on behalf of kids who deserve our best!”
What else can you tell me about Dr. Scott Todd?
Dr. Todd and his wife, Bethany, met in 1986 at Young Life’s Frontier Ranch. They have been married for 30 years, live in Colorado and have four sons. Three of their sons have graduated from Baylor University, and their fourth son is in eighth grade.