Jonathan Reckford

CEO for Habitat for Humanity International

Jonathan T.M. Reckford is the chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International – a global Christian housing organization that has helped more than 22 million people build or improve the place they call home – and the author of recently-released Our Better Angels: Seven Simple Virtues That Will Change Your Life and the World.


Since 2005, when Jonathan took the top leadership position, Habitat’s more than 1,200 U.S. affiliates and over 70 country programs have grown from serving 125,000 individuals each year to helping more than 8.7 million people last year alone build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter.


Jonathan graduated from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill where he was a Morehead Scholar. He was also the recipient of a Henry Luce Scholarship, which enabled him to do marketing work for the Seoul Olympic Organizing Committee and coach the Korean rowing team in preparation for the 1988 Olympics.


He earned his Master of Business Administration degree from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business before spending much of his career in the for-profit sector, including executive and managerial positions at Goldman Sachs, Marriott, The Walt Disney Co., and Best Buy. Following his tenure as executive pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church near Minneapolis, MN, he was appointed CEO of Habitat for Humanity International in 2005.


He serves on the boards of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Duke Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Urban Steering Committee for the World Economic Forum.


Jonathan was named the most influential nonprofit leader in America in 2017 by The NonProfit Times. He and his wife, Ashley, have three children and live in Atlanta.

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Our Better AngelsSeven Simple Virtues That Will Change Your Life and the World
St. Martin's Essentials

In this uplifting book, Jonathan Reckford shares true stories of people involved with Habitat for Humanity as volunteers and future homeowners who embody seven timeless virtues—kindness, community, empowerment, joy, respect, generosity, and service—and shows how we can all practice these to improve the quality of our own lives as well as those around us. Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity has helped more than 22 million people in over 70 countries build or improve a place to call home.

Our Better Angels: Seven Simple Virtues That Will Change Your Life and the World Jonathan highlights seven timeless virtues – kindness, community, empowerment, joy, respect, generosity, and service – and shares how simple acts have the power to change lives around the world. The stories featured will resonate with audiences across a wide spectrum who are yearning for compassion and community in a time of division and divisiveness.
Purpose Driven Organizations and Lives Jonathan emboldens audiences seeking to better lead purpose-driven organizations and lives. He shares insights into thoughtfully building teams, strategically evolving missions, and continually and creatively evaluating impact.
Corporate Social Responsibility and Employee Engagement Through a series of stories, this speech illuminates the changing landscape of corporate social responsibility, the vital importance of innovative leadership, and the urgent need for public-private collaboration. He shares a bold vision for deeper employee engagement as well as practical guidance to better inspire and more effectively manage teams.

Listen to Jonathan Reckford on the Engage For Good podcast discussing Habitat For Humanity’s hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch Jonathan’s guest appearance on “Huckabee” on TBN. Check out Jonathan’s interview with “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal on the “Corner Office” podcast. Read an excerpt from Our Better Angels on the “Marketplace.” Watch President Jimmy Carter and Jonathan Reckford speak on MSNBC. Habitat for Humanity International was named as a 2020 Golden Halo Award winner. The Chronicle of Philanthropy interviewed Jonathan Reckford about his plans with Habitat for Humanity. Check out Stanford Business Graduate School‘s article on how Jonathan pushed the nonprofit into advocacy, disaster relief, and sustainability. Jonathan Reckford is the Spring 2019 Commencement Speaker at his alma matter University of North Carolina. Read how integrity and innovation started the billion dollar organization Habitat for Humanity. The University of North Carolina profiled Jonathan Reckford for his outstanding work with Habitat for Humanity.

“Jonathan is a talented storyteller – he brings Habitat stories to life and inspires audiences to think more deeply about the role each person has to play in their community and in making our world a better place.”
–Jeff Noel, VP Communications and Public Affairs at Whirlpool Corporation

Praise for Our Better Angels "Our Better Angels brings to light the basic virtues of kindness, generosity, respect, empowerment, community, joy, and service that we all have within us. We are grateful to Jonathan Reckford for sharing such moving stories about transformation, and for showing how easy it is for all of us to choose to help and strengthen others, rather than to hurt and weaken them. This book is for humanity: Read it whether you’re a kid, a grandparent, or anyone in between. It will spark an instant realization of how even the smallest acts of kindness or respect can fundamentally change someone’s path for the better.”
-Drew and Jonathan Scott, The Property Brothers

“It has been our honor to work with Habitat for Humanity and see these seven virtues in practice. When we look outside of ourselves, we experience a glimpse of who we can be. Jonathan’s book reminds us to love one another. Amazing things happen when we do!”
-Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks