CWS Welcomes Four New Members to Board of Directors

January 12, 2023

Susan Krehbiel, Wendy Patten, Marie Anne Sliwinski and Angela Spencer-James Join the CWS Board

New York City – Church World Service today announced that it has welcomed four new members to its Board of Directors: Susan Krehbiel, Wendy Patten, Marie Anne Sliwinski and Angela Spencer-James. Each of these leaders brings decades of experience related to CWS’ mission of building a world where everyone has food, voice and a safe place to call home.

“We are delighted to have Susan, Wendy, Marie Anne and Angela join our Board of Directors at a time of tremendous growth for CWS. As global conflict, persecution and climate change threaten the safety and livelihoods of millions of families, CWS is a critical lifeline to countless communities. Each of these individuals is a leader in their field and brings unique skills and experiences to bolster CWS in its work to provide just and sustainable responses to the world’s most pressing challenges,” said CWS Board Chair Rev. Patricia De Jong. 

Susan Krehbiel is Refugee Advocate and Program Strategist for the Presbyterian Church, USA and coordinates the church’s humanitarian response to refugees and those in need of our country’s protection through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, advocating for just refugee and asylum laws; educating and equipping local congregations and regional bodies; and coordinating with financial and technical support. Susan represents PDA in its work with mission partners such as CWS and participates in national and international fora.

“I am excited about serving on the CWS Board for two reasons: first and foremost, because it expands the ways that I can support the rights of refugees and asylum seekers and their just treatment.  Secondly, it is a way to give back to an organization that invested in me as the director of the CWS Miami office where I learned a lot about what it means to offer a dignified welcome,” said Krehbiel.

Wendy Patten is an experienced leader, strategist, advocate and grant maker who works to advance human rights, gender equality, justice and the rule of law in the United States and globally.  She has held senior roles in the U.S. government, multilateral organizations, foundations and civil society organizations working at the international, national, and community level.  She helps organizations design and implement inclusive, high-impact strategies on a wide range of human rights, refugee and related policy issues. Most recently, Wendy spent over a decade with the Open Society Foundations and Policy Center where she designed and led advocacy initiatives and advocacy-oriented grantmaking on human rights in U.S. national security and on refugee protection.  

“I’m honored to join the CWS Board. In these challenging times, CWS brings people together, working in communities around the world to welcome refugees seeking safety and strengthen locally-led efforts to promote human rights and social justice. I look forward to working with colleagues on the board to support CWS’ critical work,” said Patten.

Marie Anne Sliwinski serves as the Senior Director for Building Resilient Communities at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Marie Anne has 20 years of experience working in the non-profit sector, 14 of which are dedicated to international humanitarian and development programs. In her current role Marie Anne leads a team that accompanies Lutheran ministries, synods and congregations in the United States, and companion churches and ecumenical partners around the world to fulfill their diaconal missions to meet human needs and enhance human dignity; and support sustainable development and humanitarian assistance programming.

“I am honored to join the CWS Board of Directors. I look forward to working alongside like-minded colleagues in supporting CWS initiatives that honors and practices the principles of welcome, collaboration and dignity especially in our most critical moments in the United States and around the world,” said Silwinski.

Angela Spencer-James is a senior business leader with a track record of success directing client and internal firm initiatives. With cross-industry insight advising companies on successful tax strategies, coupled with creating her own business practice and firmwide diversity, equity and inclusiveness (DE&I) initiatives, Angela provides unique, insightful, innovative and trusted advice. She frequently advises global enterprises regarding sensitive, high-profile US and international taxation matters and has significant experience partnering with and influencing C-suite leaders and diverse boards, with strategic, actionable goals. 

“I am looking forward to serving on the CWS board and contributing to building a world where there is enough for all. I am honored to be able to lend my skills to support the critical work CWS is doing to create a better future for the world’s most vulnerable,” said Spencer-James.

More information about these board members and the full CWS Board of Directors can be found here