Peterson currently is president and CEO of The Seed Company, a ministry based in Arlington, Texas, that has been a catalyst for 800 Bible translation projects/partnerships worldwide by organizations, groups and individuals since its launch in 1993 by Wycliffe Bible Translators.
Pieter Dearolf, board chairman of the American Bible Society, said Peterson's "decades-long leadership in Bible translation and depth of experience will serve him well as he helps lead American Bible Society into our third century of ministry."
Peterson joined The Seed Company in 2003. He had been president and CEO of Wycliffe USA since 1997 and had spent eight years in Ecuador and Guatemala in various Wycliffe leadership positions. Peterson previously held management positions with U.S. Shoe Corporation, Florsheim Corporation and American Greetings Corporation.
"American Bible Society's history and influence in the world of all-things Bible cannot be overstated," Peterson said in an ABS news release Jan. 15. "I am looking forward to joining this dynamic organization, especially within this historic moment for Bible mission."
Peterson replaces Douglas Birdsall, who was terminated by the ABS board in October after six months as the Bible society's president. Dearolf said at the time that the ABS board and Birdsall, who previously led the Lausanne Movement, had "significant differences" to spreading the Bible around the world. Birdsall, in his own statement, said, "There are times when the vision and style of a new leader does not mesh satisfactorily with the culture of an established organization or with the expectations of a board."
Birdsall's dismissal prompted protests by a dozen evangelical leaders, including Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York, and author/commentator Eric Metaxas.
Peterson holds a master's degree in social science/leadership studies from Azusa Pacific University and an undergraduate degree in business administration from Roger Williams College.
He and his wife Rita have three children and three grandchildren.
Compiled by Baptist Press editor Art Toalston. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
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