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Council of Bishops Names New Staff

United Methodist Council of Bishops

September 7, 2016

Washington, D.C.: The Council of Bishops’ Executive Committee announced today the addition of new staff following a total workforce reorganization and restructuring plan.

In May, the Council announced a plan to create a more efficient staffing model to support their mission and vision. "We feel confident that we're building a strong team of professionals to strengthen and augment the work of the Council of Bishops," said Bishop Bruce Ough, president of the Council. “The transition is going smoothly and we believe that we are moving in the right direction.”

Bishop Marcus Matthews, who became executive secretary of the Council on September 1, said the centralization of all staff in Washington, D.C., will also help the Council be more effective. “The Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships was consolidated under the Council of Bishops in 2012, but remained a separate office in New York,” said Bishop Matthews. “The new model will allow us to more fully integrate all our efforts and make the best use of our resources.”

The new appointments are effective November 1.

Kathryn A. Williams will assume the position of Chief Administrative Officer. Williams was selected to oversee all finance, accounting, human resources and other administrative areas of the Council office. She has served over the past nine years as Executive Director of Finance and Administration for the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships and, most recently, the Council of Bishops’ Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships.

Rev. Dr. Jean G. Hawxhurst has been named Ecumenical Staff Officer for Leadership Development. Hawxhurst has served as Associate Ecumenical Staff Officer for the Council of Bishops' Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships since 2015. She was previously a district superintendent for the Frankfort District of the Kentucky Annual Conference. Hawxhurst will be responsible for working with the Council in the development of relationships with other churches and ecumenical organizations, as well as developing denominational leaders in the areas of ecumenical and interfaith understanding and leadership.

Joining the Council office as Ecumenical Staff Officer for Faith & Order and Theological Development is Dr. Kyle R. Tau, who recently completed a PhD in Theological Studies at Emory University’s Graduate Division of Religion and has taught at Candler School of Theology. Tau will be responsible for providing supporting academic analysis and reflection upon ecumenical and interreligious activities related to the denomination. He will serve as an advisor on theological and ecclesiological issues and will also support the Committee on Faith and Order.

"I am looking forward to working with the ecumenical staff officers to create new opportunities to strengthen our relationships with other faith communities as we strive to create greater Christian unity,” said Bishop Mike Watson, who will serve as Ecumenical Officer for the Council for the next four years.

The hiring process continues in September, with interviews being conducted for three additional positions: an event coordinator/accounting assistant, a communication and special project specialist and a receptionist/administrative assistant.


Media contact:
Diane Degnan
615.742.5406 (w) 615.483.1765 (c)