CWS Board of Directors
REV. PATRICIA DE JONG an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, has served as Senior Minister at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley and the Urbandale United Church of Christ in Des Moines, Iowa. She also served as the Minister of Education for Christian Discipleship at The Riverside Church in New York City. Patricia’s roots in social justice began as a campus minister, serving on university campuses in Michigan, Oregon and California. She currently teaches at the Omega Institute, Esalen Institute and the Theater School in Sonoma, California. Rev. de Jong is Chair of the Board of Directors.
DANIEL HAZMAN has extensive experience in strategy, supply chain, sustainability and business start-ups in many parts of the world. While working for Walmart he made key contributions to their sustainability strategy. Presently, he is the Asia Regional Director for IDH Sustainable Trade based in Indonesia. He has received several honors and awards for both his professional as well as his volunteer work. He is First Vice Chair, as Chair of the Planning Committee.
KATY KECK'S career is in the culinary field, with an emphasis on hunger and the effect of poverty on food security. Her strong skill sets lie in the areas of board governance, fundraising and partnership development. She spent nearly a decade intimately involved in the launch of the organization Infinite Family, an international non-profit which uses video technology to connect adult mentors with South African teens affected by HIV/AIDS. She received her BA in Liberal Arts at DePauw University and served on its Alumni Board. Katy obtained her MBA in Finance & Marketing from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is a two-time Daytime Emmy Awards honoree and ordained Deacon at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. She is Second Vice Chair of the CWS Board, as Chair of the Nominations and Board Development Committee.
LAURA ROBERTS is co-founder and chief executive officer of Pantheon Enterprises, which was honored with Ethisphere’s 2012 World’s Most Ethical Companies Award. She also serves on the Conscious Capitalism National Board of Directors, promoting higher purpose in business, and is a member of the American Sustainable Business Council and the Young President’s Organization (YPO). Roberts is Secretary of the CWS Board.
ROLAND FERNANDES is the General Treasurer of the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. He is also the Treasurer of the United Methodist Committee on Relief and the United Methodist Development Fund. Prior to working for Global Ministries, he was the chief auditor of the Methodist Church in India for eight years. Fernandes is Treasurer of the CWS Board and Chair of the Administration and Finance Committee.
PHIL ATKINS-PATTENSON is of counsel at the international law firm Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton (host of the January 2019 CWS Board meeting). For the past 25 years, he has been a partner in the Business Trial Practice Group, handling complex business trials, arbitrations and appeals in state and federal courts. He is the former co-managing partner of the firm’s San Francisco office.
Throughout his 37-year career, Mr. Atkins-Pattenson also maintained an active pro bono practice. In 2007, he was recognized as a California Attorney of the Year and as Sheppard Mullin’s Pro Bono Attorney of the Year for his work as lead outside counsel in a successful 20-year federal court litigation for NRDC that resulted in a comprehensive settlement to restore California’s San Joaquin River and its historic salmon populations. Mr. Atkins-Pattenson has been an active member of First Church Berkeley (United Church of Christ), where he has served on various ministry teams. He joined the board of IMA World Health in November 2017. Mr. Atkins-Pattenson holds an A.B. from Stanford University, a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, and a Doctor of Law from University of San Francisco School of Law.
PAUL CHAN is an M.D. (Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Cardiology) living in Kansas City. He has raised significant funds for CWS through fundraising walks in the Grand Canyon. He has served on the board of a Guatemalan development organization, and is the founder and has been director of Community Impact, an umbrella organization at Johns Hopkins Medical School for initiatives in inner city Baltimore. Dr. Chan was named one of "50 Missourians You Should Know 2018" by Ingram's.
DR. ELIZABETH FERRIS is a Research Professor at Georgetown University in the Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM) and a non-resident senior fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution. She served for nine years as a Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the Brookings Project on Internal Displacement. She has extensive professional background in the areas of refugees and migration specifically, and justice and peace more generally. Dr. Ferris notes that she believes “in ecumenism and in the power of churches to bring about change in our troubled world.” Dr. Ferris spent 20 years working in the field of international humanitarian response, most recently in Geneva, Switzerland at the World Council of Churches. She was an earlier Director of the Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program in New York. Dr. Ferris is a Quaker (Friends General Conference) and has attended a United Church of Christ congregation for the last ten years.
CAROLINE S. GESAMI is Senior Legal Researcher in the Judiciary of Kenya (Court of Appeal) by appointment of the Judicial Service Commission. She graduated from the University of Sussex (U.K.) with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and received her Post-Graduate Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law, and a Masters in Oil & Gas Law (LL.M) from the University of Aberdeen (U.K.). She is fluent in English and Swahili with a working knowledge of French and Spanish. She is a member of the Young Lawyer’s Committee of the Law Society of Kenya and the International Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenyan Chapter. Caroline brings long-term fundraising strategies; strategic networks; and ability to advise on regulatory compliance matters. Her religious background is as a Catholic.
DR. JEFFREY HAGGRAY is the executive director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies and Judson Press. Dr. Haggray finds the heart of his ministry in motivating Christians to impact communities with their deeply-held faith; encouraging emerging leaders to discern and respond to God’s call; and emphasizing God’s loving concern for humanity’s well-being, wholeness and justice.
Dr. Haggray works closely with diverse national and regional partners to provide a clear vision of the Christian mission in today’s world, to cultivate relationships and to develop resources for transformational ministry with congregations, communities and regions across the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico. Having served congregations in New Jersey; Washington, D.C.; and Georgia, Dr. Haggray understands the day-to-day needs of local congregations involved in disciple-making, worship, leadership development, and mission engagement. As a regional executive minister for the District of Columbia Baptist Convention, Haggray found that access to necessary human and material resources allows congregations and institutions to positively impact their communities without limit.
Dr. Haggray earned a Bachelor of Arts from University of Virginia, a Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary, and a Master of Divinity from Yale. .
NEVEN HENDRICKS' commitment to social justice has many manifestations: Chairman of Save the Children, South Africa – a child protection and advocacy, international non-profit organization; former chairman of Project Literacy in South Africa, an NGO involved in Adult Basic Education in Southern Africa; one of the founders of Ethembeni Enrichment Centre in Port Elizabeth, a facility that assists indigent black students with their education through computer-assisted learning. While at NEDCOR, Neven drove the bank’s initiative into Black Economic Empowerment (“BEE”).
Mr. Hendricks is the youngest recipient of the Honours Tie Award, given for distinguished service to the education of chartered accountants in South Africa. He is a Chartered Accountant South Africa (CA(SA)), Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (FCMA), and Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). Mr. Hendricks holds a Bachelor of Accounting from University of South Africa.
Having grown up in a disadvantaged community, he knows first-hand what it is like to be a child in need. Mr. Hendricks has worked for a number of corporations in South Africa: Ford Motor Company, Nedcor Investment Bank and, most recently, as Partner and COO of Deloitte & Touche. He brings experience from other Boards as well, having served as Director of Project Literacy.
BETH HOULE has nearly 25 years experience building nonprofits dedicated to community development, microfinance, women’s issues, youth development and civic engagement. Prior to serving as Executive Director with the Taproot Foundation, she served for 13 years with Opportunity International. She has an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. As a Ford Foundation fellow, Beth lived in India researching the social impact of U.S.-based companies. She is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
REV. JOHN L. MCCULLOUGH is President and CEO of Church World Service. Since joining CWS in 2000, Rev. McCullough has been at the forefront of agency efforts to press for human rights and the empowerment of civil society in developing countries and to expand upon the role of the church as a compassionate and prophetic voice for justice.
REV. VY NGUYEN is Executive Director at Week of Compassion with the Disciples of Christ (Christian Church). He places special emphasis on connecting younger generations to the faith-based humanitarian and development work. Vy formerly served as a CWS staff member in the fundraising office based in Northern California. A former refugee himself, he has volunteered at various refugee organizations in Chicago & Dallas and has served on both his Church’s National & Executive Boards.
HIS EMINENCE, METROPOLITAN ZACHARIAH MAR NICHOLOVOS, is the ruling Metropolitan of the Northeast American Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. His Eminence currently serves as a Central Committee and Executive Committee member of the World Council of Churches, Governing Board member of the National Council of Churches in the United States, and as a member of the Board of Trustees for St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, New York. Most recently His Eminence was appointed by the Malankara Church to serve as the President of the Department of Ecumenical Relations.
PETER PERSELL has extensive experience in integrated rural development and humanitarian and refugee response throughout Africa, the Caribbean and Europe. He began his career as a Peace Corps Volunteer water well constructionist in West Africa and went on to work in front-line design and management of water, agriculture, health, livelihoods and refugee assistance programs for the U.S. Peace Corps and for the nongovernmental organization Africare. He was Acting Africa Regional Director for the Peace Corps and Vice President of Africare.
DR. SHIRLEY CASON REED currently serves as International President of the Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She is a member of the Tullie Quinn Missionary Society of Ward AME Church in Washington, D.C. She has served the Women’s Missionary Society for more than 34 years, as Connectional Recording Secretary, Connectional Chair of Membership & Recruitment, Connectional Chair of Special Missions, and President of local societies.
REV. DR. KAREN GEORGIA THOMPSON was recently appointed to the position of Associate General Minister of Global Engagement and Co-Executive of Global Ministries, the common overseas ministry of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Rev. Thompson has been working in the national setting for ten years, first as Minister of Racial Justice before assuming the role of Minister for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations. She believes both of these positions have provided her a foundation and skill sets that will be necessary in the role as AGM for Global Engagement.
Thompson has shared her skills and gifts in a variety of settings nationally and internationally. Her ministry is informed by her passion for racial justice. A strong proponent of human rights, she currently provides leadership for the joint United Church of Canada and United Church of Christ committee working on the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent. Before joining the National Staff, Thompson served in the Florida Conference United Church of Christ as a pastor, and on the Conference staff. She has extensive experience in nonprofit management, having served in leadership in nonprofit organizations and in academia.
Thompson earned a Bachelor of Arts from Brooklyn College in New York, a Master of Public Administration from North Carolina Central University in Durham, and a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York. She earned her Doctorate of Ministry at Seattle University.
REV. DR. EARL TRENT, JR. serves as Senior Pastor of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., the fourth pastor at this 101-year-old historic church. His ministry rests upon five pillars: Stewardship, Education, Evangelism, Missions and Social Justice. Under his leadership of 19 years, Florida Avenue Church is a vibrant, vital, joyful, and challenging congregation making a difference in the lives of people, the community and the world. Dr. Trent is Chair-Emeritus of the CWS Board.
REV. DR. DAVID VÁSQUEZ-LEVY is the President of the Pacific School of Religion. Vásquez-Levy is the first Lutheran and the first Latino to lead the seminary; at age 45, he is one of the youngest to do so. The new president’s most recent position was as part of a co-equal team of campus pastors at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where he led a dynamic ministry on campus as well as the school’s many connections with congregations and communities. He describes himself as an activist, a changemaker, and a citizen of the world.
His story begins in Central America and extends to Canada and Germany prior to his ordained ministry in the American Midwest. Born in Guatemala City in 1969, Vásquez-Levy’s surname follows common practice in Spanish-speaking cultures of using two last names—the first from his Christian father, the second from his Jewish mother. Ana Mireya Levy de Vásquez’ family migrated to Central America from Alsace-Lorraine in a displacement of Jews that occurred around the time of the First World War.
Rev. Vásquez-Levy’s ability to put Global Migration into a theological framework will be of great value for CWS.