Introducing our New CEO

Nov 29, 2023

Ghost Ranch Education & Retreat Center is excited to announce the appointment of our new CEO, David Evans, beginning January 15, 2024.

A seasoned nonprofit leader, David brings over 20 years of experience in international nonprofit leadership and development to the role. His career is marked by social and environmental justice, humanitarian aid, and community empowerment around the globe including the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the American Northwest.

“Ghost Ranch is on the threshold of a new era, following a year of transition,” shared The Rev. Dr. Tim Hart-Andersen, President of the National Ghost Ranch Foundation (NGRF) Board. “David Evans will bring to the Ranch unique leadership savvy and experience to take us into that new chapter. The future of Ghost Ranch looks bright!”

David said, “Ghost Ranch is not just a place; it’s where my passion for exploration and community was kindled. As a child, the Chimney Rock trail was a tough challenge that helped me learn so much about myself. Now, as CEO, my aspiration is for every visitor to Ghost Ranch to discover their own spark of curiosity, embrace difficulties, and experience rejuvenation.”

David’s experience includes executive leadership in complex situations and multicultural organizations, managing teams, and working to maximize nonprofit budgets. He began his career in fund development at Mercy Corps and has since served as director, head of office, regional director, and country director for various initiatives. Most recently, David served as the Mekong Regional Director at EarthRights International and Country Director at Muslim Aid in Myanmar, two roles which required passionate advocacy, steady leadership, and creative problem-solving to address human rights crises.

“David combines deep experience with leading large and small teams in complex international contexts with a passion for conservation, humanitarian aid, and the arts,” said Chris Kempes, board member and

search chair. “I couldn’t be more excited for David to lead Ghost Ranch into its next phase.” In partnership with other senior staff members, David will develop a strategic vision for the long-term financial and environmental sustainability of Ghost Ranch.

“What impressed me the most is David’s passion for social justice, the environment, and desire to build relationships with people in Rio Arriba County and beyond, all of which aligns with our mission and values,” said The Rev. Byron Wade, General Presbyter-Presbytery of Western North Carolina and member of the NGRF Search Committee. “I am looking forward to his leadership!”

As a child, Evans visited Ghost Ranch with his family, who were active in the Presbyterian Church (USA). At the Ranch, Evans’ mother taught workshops, his father participated in seminars, his sister joined the summer college staff, and he himself developed a love for exploration and community. This connection strengthens Evans’ leadership expertise with a deep love of the Ranch.

The NGRF Board is enthusiastic and unanimous in their appointment of David and looks forward to emerging from a year of transition to become stronger than ever and well-positioned for future years of service. We invite you to join the Board in making a year-end gift to support David and the talented Ghost Ranch staff as we move into an exciting 2024.

David brings a wealth of experience to his new role as CEO at Ghost Ranch.

David and his family will be moving to Ghost Ranch in January 2024.

As a child, David visited Ghost Ranch with his family.