The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s (JDC) President Penny Blumenstein announced today that veteran Jewish community executive and leader, Darrell Friedman, has been appointed interim JDC CEO, effective July 1, 2012. She also announced that JDC will immediately commence a global executive search to recruit the successor for current JDC CEO Steven Schwager.

‘I am delighted that Darrell has agreed to accept the position of JDC’s interim CEO. As one of the deans of American Jewish communal life, Darrell has been closely engaged with JDC for more than three decades. For the last nine years, he has served as in-house senior consultant to JDC’s CEO, advising on a multitude of issues most vital to the Jewish world,’ said Blumenstein. ‘Darrell’s proven leadership and expertise, along with his years of experience with JDC, will be of great value to our organization over the coming months as we continue to address the critical challenges faced by Jews worldwide.’

In addition to his 17 years as CEO of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, Friedman has been a strategic consultant to major national and international Jewish organizations, including JDC. Prior to his tenure at The Associated, Friedman was Senior Associate Executive Vice-President of the Council of Jewish Federations and Executive Director of the Rochester Jewish Federation. Additionally, the Darrell D. Friedman Institute for Professional Development in Baltimore, a premiere training institution for talented young Jewish professionals, was named for Friedman in recognition of his long-standing mentorship of such professionals.

‘As someone who understands how essential the work of JDC is and the role it plays at the center of the Jewish world, I am honored to have this opportunity. I look forward to working with JDC’s extraordinary Board and global staff during this transition period,’ said Friedman.

‘As JDC continues to be a lifeline to the world’s neediest Jews, the organization will be in good hands with my friend and colleague Darrell Friedman as interim CEO,’ said JDC CEO Steven Schwager.

Blumenstein noted that she will shortly appoint a CEO Search Committee of JDC Board members with Friedman serving as its professional advisor, a role in which he has significant experience.

‘Our goal over the next few months is clear — to conduct a robust, far-reaching and comprehensive executive search that will enable us to hire a world class CEO to lead JDC,’ said Blumenstein.