Habitat for Humanity International welcomes human rights champion Patrick Canagasingham as new chief operating officer

ATLANTA (Dec. 2, 2019) — Habitat for Humanity International is proud to announce the appointment of Patrick Canagasingham as its new chief operating officer. Canagasingham, who currently serves as CEO of Canadian nonprofit Children Believe, will join Habitat in March 2020.

“Patrick brings a wealth of experience and a global perspective that will make him an ideal chief operating officer for Habitat. But it is his heart for our mission that truly makes him the leader we need,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “Patrick is a champion of human rights and fighter for children, and I know he will be a passionate advocate for the people we serve.”

Headshot of Patrick, smiling.

Drawing on 25 years of leadership in nongovernmental organizations and the private sector, Canagasingham will assume operational responsibility for the leading global housing nonprofit which operates in more than 70 countries.

“I have long admired Habitat for Humanity’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live,” Canagasingham said. “Through all of my work around the world, I have come to firmly believe that safe and decent housing is fundamental to a child’s health and success in the future. I look forward to working with, and learning from, Habitat for Humanity’s teams all around the world as we build the world we seek.”

Canagasingham, a native of Sri Lanka and a Canadian citizen, has been CEO of Toronto-based Children Believe since 2017. He previously served as COO of Oxfam International, where he applied his considerable experience in operational management, strategic planning and organizational leadership to serve a global workforce of 10,000 staff members and a budget of $1.3 billion.

Prior to his time with Oxfam, Canagasingham held senior leadership roles with World Vision in Canada and East Asia from 2007 through 2015, including vice president of international programs at World Vision Canada, where he was accountable for planning, implementing and evaluating the organization's international program commitments in nearly 70 countries in conjunction with other World Vision offices.

Canagasingham holds a master’s degree in human rights from the University of London and a bachelor’s degree from York University in Toronto, Canada.

Canagasingham and his family will relocate to Atlanta and will be based in Habitat for Humanity International’s administrative headquarters.

About Habitat for Humanity

Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.