Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Let's Hear It For Strong Women!

First Katharine Jefferts Schori ...

then Nancy Pelosi ...

and now Linda Watt!

[Episcopal News Service] Bringing 30 years of diplomatic and management skills proven most recently as U.S. ambassador to Panama, Linda E. Watt of Utah has been named new chief operating officer of the Episcopal Church. The Church's Executive Council, meeting in Chicago November 15, confirmed Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori's appointment of Watt to this position, officially known as executive director of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS).

Set to begin work officially in January, Watt will serve as chief operating officer at the Episcopal Church Center in New York City, where she will assist in overseeing the 200-member staff based in newly renovated offices located two blocks west of the United Nations.

"My sense is that Linda is going to be an ambassador of Good News we are all called to share," Jefferts Schori said, citing Watt's "enormous skill in managing operations and personnel in challenging locations around the world."

The Presiding Bishop further underscored Watt's "culturally bilingual" skills including fluency in Spanish and "her strong interest in social justice" consonant with the Episcopal Church's current top ministry priority of peace and justice work framed by the U.N. Millennium Development Goals. While ambassador to Panama from 2002-2005, Watt led an embassy staff of 386 American and Panamanian employees, plus 130 Peace Corps volunteers. There she guided operations in which U.S. staff represented 21 government agencies, and she oversaw an annual program budget of more than $40 million -- comparable to the DFMS's $152 million triennial budget.

Read it all at ENS ... and give thanks for new blood, new energy and new vision for the church!

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