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Mercy Ships International Board Announces the Appointment of Gert van de Weerdhof as Interim CEO as Current CEO Tom Stogner retires

GARDEN VALLEY, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mercy Ships, the global healthcare charity that provides free medical services to the world’s least advantaged peoples through a fleet of first-class hospital ships, announced today that it has appointed Gert van de Weerdhof as Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to replace current Mercy Ships CEO, Tom Stogner, who retires June 25, 2021.

Originally from the Netherlands, Mr. Van de Weerdhof has extensive experience in management, including 30 years in various industries and businesses around the globe. He has served on numerous boards and currently serves on the Mercy Ships Netherlands board. Mr. Van de Weerdhof will be based out of the Mercy Ships International Support Center in the USA during this appointment and will focus on the ongoing work of Mercy Ships in Africa. Mercy Ships aims to see both the Africa Mercy® redeployed and new Global Mercy™ in full deployment during 2022.

“As a subcommittee of the Mercy Ships International Board, we took appointment of an interim CEO very seriously. Mr. van de Weerdhof was one of many qualified candidates. We felt his experience both in the continental US and internationally positioned him to dive into the mission of serving the forgotten poor in Africa. We are grateful to have him onboard,” stated Kristine Davis, Vice Chair of the Mercy Ships International Board.

Tom Stogner came to Mercy Ships in 2017 as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and became CEO in 2019.

"Tom has led the organization through an incredible season. Tom leaves Mercy Ships with a healthy culture and in a strong financial position despite the challenges of the past year. He has guided Mercy Ships through the COVID-19 shutdown, stewarded preparations for the Africa Mercy’s return to service in Senegal as soon as practically possible and can point to a successful delivery of the Global Mercy before he leaves office. We will miss his leadership, sense of humor, wisdom in difficult times, and his heart for the Lord," stated Ruben Martin, Chairman of the Mercy Ships International board.

The Mercy Ships International Board has appointed a CEO Search Committee for a new Mercy Ships CEO. The committee has the aim to have a permanent CEO in place by Q4, 2021. Candidate applications are being handled by executive search firm Odgers Berndtson.


Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class healthcare services, capacity building, and sustainable development to those with little access in the developing world. Founded in 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 55 developing countries, providing services valued at more than $1.7 billion and directly benefitting more than 2.8 million people. Our ships are crewed by volunteers from over 60 nations, with an average of over 1200 volunteers each year. Professionals including surgeons, dentists, nurses, healthcare trainers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers, and agriculturalists donate their time and skills. With 16 national offices and an Africa Bureau, Mercy Ships seeks to transform individuals and serve nations. For more information click on

Hi-res photos and general Mercy Ships B-Roll video footage are available upon request.


Laura Rebouche´
U.S. National Media Relations Director Mercy Ships
Office: +1 903.939.7000
Direct: +1 903.939.7137
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