Bio: Roy L. Peterson

President and Chief Executive Officer, american bible society                                                                                                               

“In many parts of the world, men and women continue to risk their lives to introduce people to God’s Word. They do it because they have experienced the Bible’s life-changing message and want to give others the same opportunity. That passion for Scripture is what drives American Bible Society—as it has for more than two centuries.”
—Roy Peterson

Roy Peterson Quick Facts

  • American Bible Society

    • President and CEO since February 2014

  • Prior Bible ministry posts:

    • President and CEO of The Seed Company (2003 – 2014)

    • President and CEO of Wycliffe USA (1997 – 2003)

    • Government relations director for Wycliffe organizations (1988 – 1997)

Since joining American Bible Society in 2014, Peterson has been leading the organization into its third century of ministry. Peterson's passion for the Bible and its transformative power stems from his own life-changing experience with the Scriptures as a young man. In 2017, he released his autobiography, Set Free, in which he shares how his experience as an inmate in a Mexican prison led him to a lifetime of service in Bible ministry.

Peterson spent a decade as the president and CEO of The Seed Company, a Bible translation ministry based in Arlington, Texas. Prior to joining the Seed Company, Peterson held several leadership positions at Wycliffe. Early in his Wycliffe career, he served in Ecuador and Guatemala with Wycliffe's sister organization, SIL International, in field administration and government relations. He went on to become president and CEO of Wycliffe USA from 1997 to 2003. 

Before taking up full-time ministry work, Peterson held management positions with U.S. Shoe Corporation, Florsheim Corporation and American Greetings Corporation.

Roy holds a master's degree in Social Science and Leadership Studies from Azusa Pacific University and a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Roger Williams University. He graduated from Stanford University's Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders and holds honorary doctorates from Taylor University and Eastern University. Peterson and his wife, Rita, live in Philadelphia. They have four children and six grandchildren.