Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family and host of its National Radio Hall of Fame-honored daily broadcast, heard by more than 2.9 million listeners a week on more than 1,000 radio stations across the U.S. Within his second year behind the microphone, the show was honored as 2012 Program of the Year by the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB).
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, he lost his mother to cancer four years later – a wound deepened when his grieving stepfather emptied the family home and left Daly, the youngest of five children, and his siblings to fend for themselves after 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 was named president of Focus on the Family in 2005 after 16 years with the ministry. Under his leadership, the organization has taken on a major role nationally in encouraging and helping facilitate foster-care adoptions, earning recognition from the White House for its efforts. The ministry also has reinvigorated its traditional focus on helping couples build strong marriages and raise healthy, resilient kids. In just the last 12 months, research indicates Focus on the Family has saved one marriage every six minutes and helps a family through a crisis involving their children every 60 seconds.
Daly started his career at Focus in 1989 as an assistant to the president, fostering relationships with the ministry’s supporters. He was appointed international field director for Asia, Africa and Australia in 1992, and in 1997 was promoted to vice president of the International Division. In 2004 Daly 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 graduated from California State University, San Bernardino, in 1984 with a B.S. in Business Administration. During his senior year, he attended Waseda University in Tokyo, and after graduating worked for a FORTUNE 500 company. In 1997, he 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 Fox & Friends, America Live with Megyn Kelly and ABC World News Tonight; and been featured in Time, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today and Newsweek, which named him one of the Top 10 next-generation evangelical leaders of influence. He was the subject of a July 2011 cover story in Christianity Today and is a regular panelist for The Washington Post blog “On Faith” alongside leading academics and theologians.
Daly is an author whose latest book, ReFOCUS: Living a Life That Reflects God’s Heart, explores how to engage the culture for Christ in a compassionate and winsome way.
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.