CWS Elects Diverse Board to Advance Agency Vision

November 13, 2012

CWS members unanimously elected a new Board of Directors at the humanitarian agency’s October 2012 Annual Members Meeting. Elections to the smaller, non-representative board were drawn from a broad variety of professional backgrounds, including foundations, development agencies, corporations and advocacy organizations.

For more than 65 years, the board of Church World Service has been composed of representatives from its member communions, with CWS board participation often included as a part of their job responsibilities. The new board makeup, which expands representation to include people who are not of a member communion, is a major component of the agency’s CWS 2020 Vision, which defines a new foundation for CWS work as the agency adapts to current ecumenical, economic and global contexts.

This leaner board is expected to provide a new pool of talent from which to draw to further build on the contributions of “the long and distinguished roster of CWS board members over the past twelve years,” said the Rev. John L. McCullough, president and CEO.

“As we evolve into an updated context for our work we expect to derive great benefit from this new board of committed, creative and visionary individuals by drawing upon the professional expertise each of them brings.”

Explaining the effect of the elections on the board’s traditional makeup of representatives from the mainline Protestant communions that comprise the CWS membership, the Rev. Amy Gopp, chair of the Nominations and Board Development Committee, said, “a majority of the directors are connected to churches that are CWS member communions, but the elections also make the board interfaith.”

In welcoming the newly-elected members, the Rev. Dr. Earl Trent, chair of the board, noted the “strong passion and commitment to CWS’s mission” exhibited by the new directors, all of whom “understand the current and long-term challenges facing CWS at a time of shifting ecumenical and economic models.”

Global humanitarian agency Church World Service works to help the world’s most vulnerable people overcome hunger and poverty through sustainable development.

The newly-elected board members are:

  • Nabil Samuel Abadir Mosaad, Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services in Cairo, Egypt
  • Paul S. Chan, MD, MSc, associate professor, Division of Cardiology, University of Missouri-Kansas City and clinical scholar at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute
  • Donald C. Clark, Jr., nationwide special counsel for the United Church of Christ
  • Hal Culbertson, executive director of Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • Patricia de Jong, senior minister of First Congregational Church (UCC) in Berkeley, California
  • Roland Fernandes, general treasurer (chief financial officer) of the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church and treasurer of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and the United Methodist Development Fund
  • Rev. Amy C. Gopp, executive director, Week of Compassion, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Gopp raises between $3 and $10 million annually for relief, refugee assistance and development.
  • Rev. Jimmie Ray Hawkins, pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Durham, North Carolina
  • Daniel Hazman, Asia regional director, Jakarta, Indonesia for IDH Sustainable Trade.
  • The Right Reverend Johncy Itty, Immediate Past Chair, served as the IXth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon and now assists in the Diocese of Long Island, New York
  • Eunice Karanja Kamaara, PhD, professor of religious studies at Moi University, Kenya and International affiliate professor, Indiana University – Purdue University
  • Fr. Michael T. Kontogiorgis, assistant chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
  • Joyce Bontrager Lehman, former program officer for Financial Services for the Poor with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Washington, D.C.
  • Rev. Rafael Malpica-Padilla, executive director of the Global Mission program unit of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
  • Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO of Church World Service
  • Christian O. McKenzie, marketing professional with progressive experience in advertising, online and technology related environments
  • James T. Morris, president, Pacers Sports and Entertainment, Indiana and professor of philanthropy and public administration, Indiana University
  • Peter M. Persell, consultant: acting country director, Tanzania for Africare
  • Laura Roberts, co-founder and CEO of Pantheon Enterprises
  • Rev. Dr. Earl D. Trent Jr., Chair, senior pastor of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.

Brief bios of CWS Board Members

 Nabil Samuel Abadir has provided 35 years of creative and visionary leadership experience in participatory community development and intercultural dialogue at the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS), an internationally recognized leader  organization in areas of developmental change.  Samuel Abadir, who speaks 7 languages, including Arabic and English, resides in Egypt.

 Dr. Paul Chan, a cardiologist, internist and pediatrician serves as associate professor in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and as clinical scholar at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute. Dr. Chan has engaged in and supported various humanitarian endeavors, including the work of Church World Service with special CROP Hunger Walks through the Grand Canyon.

 Donald C. Clark, Jr. serves as nationwide special counsel for the United Church of Christ.  He successfully defended the UCC in an IRS inquiry as to whether Barack Obama’s appearance at its General Synod in 2007 violated U.S. campaign prohibitions that would jeopardize the UCC’s tax exempt status.  He has been a strong partner in Hands of Peace (HOP), chair of the board of trustees of Chicago Theological Seminary, and chair of the board of the Adler Planetarium.

 Hal Culbertson is executive director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Culbertson, creator of several publications on peace-building, has given numerous presentations related to business-NGO collaboration in zones of conflict, peace studies, peace-building and board strategic planning. Culbertson is an attorney, and a member of an Episcopal church.

 Rev. Patricia de Jong is senior minister of the First Congregational Church (UCC) of Berkeley, California. Rev. de Jong has provided leadership to a number of boards , and has served as  chair of the Beatitudes Society, which works to strengthen the progressive Christian network for justice, compassion and peace, the Pacific School of Religion and  Berkeley Organizing Congregations for Action.

 Roland Fernandes is treasurer of the board of Church World Service.  Professionally, he is general treasurer (chief financial officer) of the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, and treasurer of United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), and United Methodist Development Fund (UMDF).

 Rev. Amy C. Gopp is executive director of Week of Compassion of the Christian Church  (Disciples of Christ) and annually raises millions of dollars for relief, refugee resettlement and development.  She currently serves as second vice chair of the board of CWS and also serves as the chair of the CWS Immigration and Refugee Program Advisory Group.

 Rev. Jimmie R. Hawkins is active in numerous local and national Presbyterian, ecumenical and civic organizations. He is the pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Durham, North Carolina.  Rev. Hawkins is a former treasurer of the board of Church World Service and currently chairs the CWS Resource Development Advisory Group.

 Daniel Hazman is a leader in areas of sustainability, strategy, supply chain and business start-ups in Asia, North America, Latin America, South Africa and Europe and currently works as the Asia regional director of IDH Sustainable Trade. He has been featured in Time magazine as a National Tandy Scholar and featured in USA Today as a Toyota Community Scholar.

 The Rt. Rev. Johncy Itty is the immediate past chairman of the board of directors of Church World Service, and is actively engaged in humanitarian, development and relief efforts, as well as ecumenical and interfaith conversations.  Bishop Itty has been awarded The Distinguished Ministry award from The New York Theological Seminary and has been the recipient of many other awards and citations for his contributions to ecumenism and ministry.

 Eunice Karanja Kamaara is full professor of religious studies at Moi University, and International affiliate professor, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). The courses she teaches include Interreligious Dialogue, Gender and Development in Africa, and Religion & Human Rights in Africa.  Dr. Kamaara is Roman Catholic and resides in Kenya.

 Fr. Michael Kontogiorgis is the assistant chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, New York, NY.  He has designed and implemented clergy training on sexual misconduct, clergy income taxes and worked on special projects for the Archbishop and Patriarch.  Prior to coming to the Archdiocese, Fr. Kontogiorgis was a financial consultant, an investment officer and an account executive for various financial institutions.

 Joyce Lehman is a former program officer for financial services with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington. Her primary responsibility at the Gates Foundation was to help persons in developing countries live more productive lives, reduce the impact of shock and increase their access to appropriate and affordable financial services.  Lehman has written many articles in areas of microfinance and microenterprise development.

 Rev. Rafael Malpica-Padilla serves as executive director of the Global Mission program unit of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  Malpica-Padilla’s international and ecumenical experience includes election observer in Haiti and El Salvador, the Church World Service board, Lutheran World Relief, the council of Lutheran World Federation, and the negotiation team for the board of Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem.

 Rev. John L. McCullough is the president & CEO of Church World Service and joins the board by virtue of his roles. An ordained minister in The United Methodist Church, he has served pastorates in the United States and Kenya and has held leadership positions at the denomination’s global mission agency. McCullough has been with Church World Service since June of 2000.

 Christian O. McKenzie is a marketing professional with progressive experience in advertising, online and technology related environments. As a social media and digital marketing guru, she has strong experience in successfully marketing major products and events on numerous platforms. She is the daughter of Presbyterian ministers, and is actively involved in several charities based in New York City.

 James T. Morris is the president of the Pacers Sports & Entertainment in Indianapolis, Indiana, and professor of philanthropy and public administration at Indiana University. Morris served as executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme and the SECRETARY General’s special envoy for Southern Africa. He is an elder at Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, where he serves as the chair of their endowment fund

 Peter M. Persell, with broad and deep experience in effective grass roots, results-oriented development and humanitarian response work in Africa, the US, Caribbean and Europe , has had an extensive career with Africare.   Persell has worked for partnerships between local communities, governments and faith-based organizations to establish collaborative inclusive climates that lead to long term justice, peace and development.

 Laura Roberts is co-founder and CEO of Pantheon Enterprises, which was recently honored with Ethisphere’s 2012 World’s Most Ethical Companies Award. She is currently a member of Conscious Capitalism, an organization dedicated to promoting higher purpose in business, and is a member of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). She serves on the Leadership Council for Pachamama Alliance, an organization committed to sustainability and social justice.

 Rev. Dr. Earl Trent is chairperson of the board of CWS and senior pastor of Florida Avenue Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. He has served on the board of the Minority Organ Tissue Transplant and Education Program; has been president of the Harvest Institute, a think tank for social and economic reform , and was founding chair of the Community Advisory Board of Reynolds and Associates, a reentry program for women ex-offenders.


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