Governance, Management & Accountability

CWS Member Communions

Founded in 1946, CWS is a cooperative relief, refugee, and development ministry currently comprised of 37 member communions encompassing a diversity of denominations, theologies, traditions, histories and cultures. In the last 70 years, much has changed. CWS and its member communions are in a time of discernment, exploration, re-commitment and discovering new commitments. This year, our membership will be involved in these conversations together, as determined by the Board of Directors.

The mission of CWS is to work with partners to eradicate poverty and hunger and to promote peace and justice around the world. CWS serves not only to carry out this mission, but to do so as a collaborative, ecumenical and global force. CWS convenes its members around the Development and Humanitarian Assistance Round Table; the Immigration and Refugee Program Advisory Group; on Capitol Hill in joint advocacy efforts; and throughout the U.S. as literally thousands of our members faithfully put their faith into action by participating in CROP Hunger Walks, assembling CWS Hygiene or School Kits, CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets, or offering signature CWS Blankets to those who most need warmth, shelter and comfort. Our strength is in our capacity to do more together than we or any of our members could ever do alone. As an ecumenical agency, we are not claiming that we do this work together because it is necessarily more efficient, although oftentimes it is, but rather, because it is always a deeper expression of our unity in Christ.

CWS Members also unite every year for an annual members meeting, which has overarching responsibilities for governance including confirmation of CWS Board members and the appointment of the CEO.

Board of Directors

Rev. Dr. Earl Trent, Chair

The 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 of the CWS Board.

Dr. Paul Chan

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.

Hal Culbertson

Hal Culbertson is associate dean for operations at the University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs. Culbertson is the creator of several publications on peace-building. He 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, 1st Vice Chair

The Rev. Patricia de Jong recently retired as Senior Minister of First Congregational, Berkeley, California. She served as Minister of Education for Christian Discipleship at The Riverside Church in New York City, and as Senior Minister of the Urbandale United Church of Christ in Des Moines, Iowa. She is ordained within the United Church of Christ, and has served on several national church and local community boards. Rev. de Jong is the Board’s Second Vice Chair, as Chair of the Planning Committee.

Jessica Fanzo

Jessica Fanzo, PhD, a nutritionist, professor, and expert in the fields of biodiversity and food security, is the first Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University, leading the university’s collaborative efforts in ethics, global food, and agricultural policy. Before joining Columbia University as the Director of Nutrition Policy at the Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development, Jessica was the Evaluation and Monitoring Officer for the REACH Interagency partnership to combat child hunger at the United Nations World Food Programme.

Roland Fernandes

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.

Lenann McGookey Gardner

Lenann McGookey Gardner is a Harvard MBA and international expert on state-of-the-art sales research. She is a former Par Club president (#1 sales representative worldwide) at Xerox Corporation, holds the American Marketing Association’s “Professional Services Marketer of the Year” award for her state, and is profiled in Who’s Who in America. She is the President of Lenann McGookey Gardner Management Consulting, Inc.

Rev. Jimmie R. Hawkins

The Rev. Jimmie R. Hawkins is active in numerous local and national Presbyterian (PCUSA), ecumenical and civic organizations. He is the pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Durham, and a prominent participant in the Moral Mondays movement in North Carolina. Rev. Hawkins is a former Treasurer of the Board of Church World Service.


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.

Rt. Rev. Johncy Itty, Immediate Past Chair

The Right Reverend Johncy Itty*, D.D., PhD served as the 9th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon and ministered in a variety of settings. He has actively promoted congregational development and the renewal and transformation of diocesan life. He served as Moderator of the NCC/CWS General Assembly. Bishop Itty is the Board’s Immediate Past Chair.

Eunice Karanja Kamaara

Eunice Kamaara is a full professor at Moi University in Theology and Religious Studies in Kenya, as well as International Affiliate Professor of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She has an expertise in gender development and gender HIV/AIDS mainstreaming, and has served on many boards and networks in leadership roles. As a writer, she contributes on topics such as gender relations, ethics, globalization and conflict.

Fr. Michael Kontogiorgis

Fr. Michael Kontogiorgis is the Assistant Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, New York, NY. Among his roles, 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 has been a financial consultant, an investment officer and an account executive for various financial institutions.

Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO, New York

The 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.


James T. Morris is president of Pacers Sports and Entertainment. He has served as World Food Programme Executive Director and as an Under-Secretary General with the United Nations. Morris served as a Trustee Emeritus at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and has received a number of honors and awards.

Peter Persell

Peter Persell has broad experience in grassroots, result-oriented development and humanitarian response work in various parts of the world. He has served in numerous settings and positions for Africare. His programmatic expertise covers water, sanitation, child survival, refugees, food security and HIV/AIDS prevention. Persell was a Peace Corps volunteer.


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.

Laura Roberts

Laura Roberts is Co-founder and CEO of Pantheon Enterprises, which was 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.