InterVarsity Names a Historic New President

Tom Lin’s appointment is the second significant position in mission leadership gained by Asian Americans this spring.
InterVarsity Names a Historic New President
Image: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA

Tom Lin, who has dedicated his entire career to campus ministries in the United States and overseas, has been named the new president of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

In August, the Taiwanese American will become the organization’s first non-white president. Over its 75-year history, InterVarsity has made diversity a priority through multiethnic ministry initiatives—including the Urbana conference that Lin directed for the past five years—and internal programs designed to develop minority leaders.

“We’ve got so many men and women, ethnic minorities, who serve in leadership at InterVarsity. We’ve worked at it, and we’ve continued to learn and grow. We never say we’ve arrived, but this is a significant moment for InterVarsity,” the 43-year-old told CT. “It is significant … for any large, North American evangelical organization to have a non-white president.”

Lin is also the first president to begin working with InterVarsity as a student. He’s been involved in campus ministry for 25 years and began an Asian American InterVarsity chapter at Harvard University, his alma mater, in 1994.

In addition to developing a campus ministry movement in Mongolia, Lin served as a campus staff member in Boston, regional director, and vice president for missions. Part of saying “yes” to those opportunities, though, meant saying “no” to his first-generation parents’ career expectations.

“Tom’s story reflects the way the gospel intersects the ‘model minority’ narrative,” said Greg Jao, a fellow InterVarsity vice president, in an email to CT. “He’s an academic all-star who has submitted to Jesus’ ...

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