A farewell message to Wissam al Saliby

After more than six years serving the World Evangelical Alliance, Wissam al Saliby, Director of the WEA Geneva Office to the UN, transitioned in May to 21Wilberforce, in the United States, as the new President of the organization.

Wissam began working for the WEA in 2017 as Advocacy Officer to the UN before taking over as Director of the office in 2022. Serving WEA’s constituency, the regional and national Evangelical Alliances representing over 600 million evangelical Christians worldwide, Wissam’s vision and understanding of the UN and diplomatic system in Geneva has been invaluable in amplifying our members’ voice on religious freedom and human rights issues globally.

Wissam al Saliby moderating a panel on security deterioration in West Africa, in Davos during the World Economic Forum (WEF). January 2020.
Wissam al Saliby during a panel presentation of the joint report “Assessing the impact of sanctions on humanitarian work”, by the Geneva Graduate Institute in partnership with the World Council of Churches (WCC), ACT Alliance, Caritas Internationalis, and World Evangelical Alliance. March 2023.

During his tenure, he was able to communicate with our members in over 80 countries, and traveled to several countries to strengthen the alliances’ advocacy capacity at national level.

Here are a few messages of appreciation for Wissam from our members:

Wissam is a consummate and passionate advocate for the rights and freedoms, especially the rights for religious minorities, and would spare nothing to ensure that all people are given their freedom of religion and belief. I think this is born out of experience and training. His input to the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya shall be written in the annals. He trained and mentored our young human rights advocates. He is a door opener for many.” – Dr. Nelson Makanda, General Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya (EAK)

Wissam al Saliby facilitating a workshop in Nigeria. November 2022.
Wissam al Saliby with the participants in the consultation on the impact of religious extremism on missions in Nigeria and the evangelical fellowship’s response, held by the Nigeria Evangelical Fellowship. November 2022.

Wissam is not just a colleague but a remarkable friend. His dedication, intelligence, calm demeanor, and strategic approach are qualities rarely found combined in one person. He and the WEA team in Geneva have been invaluable in highlighting the persecution faced by Indian Christians. We deeply appreciate his insights and expertise. What’s truly special is his genuine compassion and strong moral compass. Wishing him all the best in everything, guided by divine blessings.” – Rev. Vijayesh Lal, General Secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI)

WEA Geneva team. LtR: Albert Hengelaar (Adovcacy Officer), Michael Mutzner (WEA Perm. Rep. to the UN), Wissam al Saliby. September 2020.
WEA Geneva team. LtR: Matthieu Volet (Refugee Advocacy Officer), Wissam al Saliby, Markus Hofer (Communications & Advocacy Officer). March 2023.

Wissam has been an invaluable member of WEA’s Geneva Office. His professionalism, dedication, and ability to inspire others have had a significant impact on our team and partners. Wissam is someone special, committed to work towards justice and guided by a biblical understanding of God’s love for all human beings created in His image. He has brought our advocacy work on behalf of our members, the Evangelical Alliances, to a new level. He has contributed to build a solid reputation for WEA at the UN and the wider diplomatic community. His departure leaves a void that will be hard to fill, but we are happy for him as he embarks on this new chapter of his career. We are confident that he will bring as much success and enthusiasm to his new endeavors as he did in Geneva.” – Michael Mutzner, WEA Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva (2012-2022)

The World Evangelical Alliance is very grateful for the legacy Wissam leaves behind and prays that God will bless him abundantly in his new ministry, as well as his family who are settling in Houston, Texas, for this exciting new chapter.