Heifer International Board of Directors Names Thomas Kemper as Member

Thomas Kemper
Thomas Kemper

Heifer International’s Board of Directors has announced the election of Thomas Kemper as an at-large delegate to its 18-member board. Kemper will serve a minimum three-year term for the nonprofit whose mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.

Kemper currently serves as the General Secretary and Chief Executive of the General Board of Global Ministries, the mission and humanitarian assistance agency of the United Methodist Church. Founded in New York City in 1819, Global Ministries today supports 340 missionaries in 60 countries, including the United States. It has personnel, projects and partners in 136 countries.

“I am honored by the invitation to join the board of directors of Heifer International. There is long history of collaboration between Heifer and United Methodist congregations and agencies. I look forward to a deepening relationship, and I am eager to learn more about Heifer’s innovative models of community and economic development,” Kemper said.

Kemper began his career with the church in 1986 when he served as a missionary in Brazil. He returned to his native Germany after eight years to lead ecumenical advocacy at one of the regional churches within the Association of Protestant Churches. From 1998-2010, Kemper served as mission leader for the United Methodist German Central Conference. Prior to his current role as General Secretary he was a member of the Global Ministries Board of Directors.

Kemper said development can benefit from partnerships between institutions like Heifer and the United Methodist Church. “Faith-based organizations have expanding opportunities in the broad field of development and can be most productive when they work together,” he said.

Pierre Ferrari, Heifer International’s president and chief executive officer echoed Kemper and praised his addition to the board.

“The United Methodist Church has a long-standing history of programs that help serve the underserved and preserve dignity for people around the world. Thomas’ tenure with the church and his service in multiple areas will undoubtedly bring new depth to our Board,” Ferrari said.

He is married to Barbara Hüfner-Kemper and the father of three adult children.

Heifer International’s Board of Directors is comprised of 18 members from diverse backgrounds in the business, agriculture, academic, faith-based and private sectors.


Heifer’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. For more than 70 years, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in more than 30 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant. Heifer’s goal is to help families achieve living incomes. For information, visit Heifer.org, read our blog, follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @Heifer or call 888.5HUNGER (888.548.6437).