Jim Daly’s personal journey from orphan to head of an international Christian organization dedicated to helping families thrive is a powerful story. Abandoned by his alcoholic father at age 5, Daly lost his mother to cancer four years later – a wound deepened when his grieving stepfather emptied the family home and took off with almost everything while Daly, the youngest of five children, and his siblings were at their mother's funeral.
Several tough years in foster care followed, before Daly became a Christian in high school and found meaning, purpose and a sense of belonging.
“I am living proof,” he wrote in his 2007 autobiography, Finding Home, “that no matter how torn up the road has already been, or how pothole-infested it may look ahead, nothing -- nothing -- is impossible for God.”
Daly assumed the presidency of Focus on the Family in 2005 after 16 years with the ministry. He started his career in 1989 as an assistant to the president, where his primary duties were fostering relationships with supporters. When the International Department was created in 1992, Daly was appointed field director for Asia, Africa and Australia. In 1997, he was promoted to vice president of the International Division.
Daly earned additional responsibilities in 2003 when he was named group vice president, charged with directing the strategic path of the organization. In 2004, he was appointed chief operating officer, the role he held until he was handpicked by Focus on the Family founder Dr. James Dobson to be the group’s president.
Daly is a graduate of California State University, San Bernardino, earning a B.S. in Business Administration in 1984. During his senior year of study, he attended Waseda University in Tokyo. After graduating, Daly worked in the private sector for a FORTUNE 500 company.
In 1997, Daly completed his MBA in International Business at Regis University in Denver. In 2009, he received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Colorado Christian University in Denver.
Daly has received the 2008 World Children’s Center Humanitarian Award, the 2009 Children’s Hunger Fund Children’s Champion Award, and the 2010 HomeWord Family Ministry Award. He has appeared on such television programs as Glenn Beck, Hannity and Your World with Neil Cavuto, and is a regular panelist for The Washington Post/Newsweek blog “On Faith” alongside leading academics and theologians.
Daly’s second book, Stronger, was released in August 2010. It discusses in depth the ways God works through tragedy in the lives of His people.
Daly was born in 1961 and has been married to his wife, Jean, since 1986. They have two sons and reside in Colorado Springs, Colo.