General Eva Burrows, a former Salvation Army commander who revamped the global Christian charity’s management and finances and oversaw its return to the former Communist bloc, died at age 85 Friday at her home in Melbourne, Australia, reports The New York Times. She spent more than 40 years with the Salvation Army, becoming the second woman to lead the organization when she was appointed commander in 1986 and, at 56, the youngest.
During her tenure, Gen. Burrows publicly criticized South Africa’s apartheid regime, overhauled the charity’s leadership structure, imposed strict fiscal controls in the wake of a fraud scandal, and reintroduced the charity to Eastern bloc countries where it had been banned under Communism. Due to her success, her term was extended from the normal five years to seven years. Following her retirement in 1993, she continued working with homeless youth and served on the board of the International Bible Society.