Appointment of Senior Executive Secretary for Movement Strengthening

Date: 21 November 2014

I am delighted to share with you that I have appointed Michal Szymanczak as Senior Executive Secretary for Movement Strengthening effective January 1st, 2015.

Michal is an outstanding leader within the YMCA. He has more than 23 years experience working for the YMCA at YMCA Europe and the Polish YMCA. He has a global vision with a deep commitment to young people, to listen and learn, and to change the world.

Michal comes to the World YMCA from YMCA Europe where he has held various positions – most recently as the Senior Executive Secretary. He has held responsibility for movement strengthening for 18 years with achievements in extensive development work in Europe through fieldwork with country focus groups, training of trainers, impact assessment, and as a member of YMCA Europe resource teams for movement development. Michal’s background brings great insight and learning for movement strengthening and an integrated approach built on mission clarity – social relevance – institutional viability.

The YMCA Europe Seminar ‘Change Agents: YMCA and Youth Empowerment for Social Transformation’ he led and designed was awarded and recognised in 2014 as the best cross-border project by the Eastern European Initiative Conference of the European Parliament.

In 1996, as Secretary of the Polish YMCA, Michal was commissioned by the World Alliance to serve as a staff consultant and accompany the Secretary General to China and represent the YMCA at the Earth Summit in Brazil.

Michal is an accomplished writer and researcher where he has written more than 100 specialist and scientific articles and three books on children’s rights, child abuse, youth culture, criminology and the development of the Third Sector. In 1992 he published a research report on Polish youth. His sociological research on youth and impact assessment brings a unique combination of research and practice to his work with the YMCA.

He is fluent in Polish, English, Russian and has basic comprehension of Belorussian, German, Czech, Macedonian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovak, Slovenian and Ukrainian.

Please join me in congratulating and welcoming Michal to the World YMCA on a journey of great magnitude.

With Best Regards,

Johan Vilhelm Eltvik,
Secretary General, World YMCA