A message from World Education CEO Joel Lamstein

February 9th, 2021 | News


It’s been a labor of love.

Over 40 years ago, Dr. Bert Hirschhorn and I founded JSI to help provide affordable, accessible health care to underserved populations both in the United States and abroad. We were struck by the disparities in health conditions and believed that this was not simply unfair but also unjust.

Our goal was to assemble a group of talented, hardworking, and passionate people who shared our concern about the injustices that we saw in health and education. That goal led us to start JSI and later to align with World Education, for as Anne Frank said “how wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

Over these many years, we have succeeded beyond all of our expectations. What began as a small group in Boston has expanded to more than 3,000 people throughout the world. Not only have we made a positive difference in people’s lives but we have also demonstrated that you can run a mission-driven organization that is both productive and humane. We are immensely proud of what we have done and how we’ve done it. And proud of all of our amazing staff both here and around the world who have made JSI and World Education such wonderful organizations.

It has been my great honor and privilege to have been the president of World Education and JSI for all these years. It’s been a labor of love that I would not trade for any other career. I’ve spent my working life among dedicated, passionate, and fun-loving people who spend every day trying to help others. And while I would go on working forever, I think it is time for new leadership to build upon our great work. To that end, I have told our boards that I will be leaving by the fall.

My thanks go to all our staff and colleagues who have made this journey such an exciting and enjoyable one. And to all those people who we have touched and who have touched us… thank you. In the words of the singer Tracy Chapman… “I’ve seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives…”


The president of JSI and World Education, Joel Lamstein, has announced his intention to step down later this year. We have retained a global search firm to find Joel’s successor; the position specification is here.

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