Leadership Team

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John Maisel

Founder and Chairman Emeritus

John Maisel has a diverse background in various business and investment activities since being honorably discharged as a captain from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1967. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart as a result of his tour in Vietnam.

While in Europe on business in 1979 he began to team up with friends who were traveling behind the Iron Curtain. His travels for ministry in this restricted access area of the world eventually led to the establishment of East-West Ministries International in 1993. Today East-West focuses on church planting in closed countries and restricted access nations. Maisel is married to Susie and has a grown daughter and two grandchildren.

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Kurt Nelson

President and CEO

As President and Chief Executive Officer of East-West, Kurt Nelson provides leadership and oversight to all worldwide ministry endeavors in the more than 75 countries in which East-West currently operates. After serving with East-West for 13 years, Nelson became President and CEO in June 2010. Prior to East-West, he served as Vice President of Global Missions Fellowship (GMF, now e3 Partners).

Kurt holds an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina, a Master of Theology in World Missions from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry in Missions Leadership from Columbia International University.

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Executive Vice President of Field Ministries

Due to the nature of where East-West serves, this individual’s identity is withheld for security reasons.

The Executive Vice President of Field Ministries directs and coordinates all mission-wide field ministries and oversees the health, resourcing, and development of all field employees. Additionally, the Executive Vice President of Field Ministries works with our field leadership to strategize and implement new ministries as well as evaluate and align all ministry endeavors toward church planting movements.

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Executive Vice President of Operations

Due to the nature of where East-West serves, this individual’s identity is withheld for security reasons.

The Executive Vice President of Operations manages the Financial Services, Human Resources, Information Technology, Member Care, Security, Facilities, and Legal functions for East-West. Additionally, the Executive Vice President of Operations serves on our Executive Leadership Team and Crisis Management Team.

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Kristen S.

Executive Vice President of Development and Senior Vice President of Field Leadership

In her 12th year of service with East-West, Kristen provides oversight and strategic direction to East-West’s development, marketing and communications initiatives, including campaign strategy, institutional giving, planned giving, events, direct response marketing, online strategies, and all marketing/communications collateral.

Prior to joining East-West, Kristen served alongside the International Mission Board on the mission field across South America, primarily focusing on evangelism and church planting strategies. Kristen continues to fulfill her calling and passion for missions through her role at East-West.