Terumi Echols has been promoted to lead IVP as president and publisher, moving from her current post as director of finance and fulfillment operations to succeed publisher Jeff Crosby. DeeDee Wilson, InterVarsity/USA’s chief financial officer who made the announcement Monday, said her selection is “a clear statement: InterVarsity Press intends to invest in growth.”
It is also a commitment to racial and gender diversity, giving a person of color (Echols is Japanese-American and African-American) and a woman the newly-created title. When Publishers Weekly surveyed major evangelical publishers in November 2020 about the degree of diversity in their companies, IVP led the report — 22 of its 90 employees (24%) were people of color. Echols told Christianity Today, “It speaks well to the Christian marketplace as a whole that women have arrived. We have a great deal to contribute.”
Echols joined IVP in December 2017, shifting from 19 years at Christianity Today where her last position was executive v-p and publisher. Wilson said, “While she was at Christianity Today, Terumi championed new product lines, diversified the list of contributors, and increased revenue. We expect her to lead with that same entrepreneurial vision. We want more authors to reach more readers and more bookselling partners to serve more customers.”
Crosby, who became president and CEO of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, August.1, praised her entrepreneurial talent. She was “a key contributor and visionary to many, if not most, of the advances InterVarsity Press made during my time as its publisher,” Crosby said, citing her "deep understanding of the Press’s mission to the university, the church, and the world."
Tom Lin, president for InterVarsity/USA, who chaired the selection process supported by CarterBaldwin Executive Search, drew the connection between IVP’s mission and Echols’ values. Lin said in the announcement, “InterVarsity Press invites the church to be more biblically rooted and culturally engaged. It respects the church’s heritage and points to the church’s future, which will be more global and more multiethnic. Terumi’s life, as a woman of color and publishing veteran, reflects those values.”
She steps into the role amid a slew of initiatives, according to the press release: The IVP Kids imprint; Every Voice Now, which supports and amplifies voices of color within publishing; the Disruptors podcast, hosted by IVP author Esau McCaulley (Reading While Black) and coproduced with Christianity Today; the Seminary Now digital learning platform; and the IVP Signature Collection, which provides refreshed bestselling backlist titles from across InterVarsity Press’s seventy-five-year history.
In the announcement, Echols cited how IVP, with its “strengths in spiritual formation, justice, cultural analysis, and academic and multiethnic publishing, has a vital contribution to make in a disillusioned world. It is my desire to strengthen our commitment to these foundational areas while developing additional pathways for IVP.” She pointed to influential evangelical theologian J. I. Packer who “once said, ‘Other publishers tell you what to believe. IVP helps you to believe.’ " Echols added, “I intend to invest so that a more globally, generationally, and ethnically diverse group of readers are helped to believe.”