|Olson nominated to lead church's Women?s Division|
By Linda Bloom*
June 18, 2007 | NEW YORK (UMNS)
Harriett Jane Olson, an executive with the United Methodist Publishing
House, has been nominated as chief executive of the Women's Division,
United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.
Harriett Jane Olson
If elected, Olson would join the division in the fall, succeeding Jan
Love, who left the post at the end of 2006 to become dean of the
Candler School of Theology in Atlanta.
The Women's Division is the administrative arm and policy-making body
of United Methodist Women, a denominational organization of
approximately 1 million members whose purpose is to foster spiritual
growth, develop leaders and advocate for justice.
"Ms. Olson is a woman of many gifts and will serve the division with
distinction," said Kyung Za Yim in a June 13 letter to Women's Division
directors. Yim is division president and chairperson of its search
Yim said Olson is "the closest match for our unique needs at this
time in our history" and noted that she was one of eight candidates
initially interviewed and among the three finalists. With the approval
of directors, the committee had started a second search process for the
position last year to expand the field of candidates.
Division directors will vote on the search committee's recommendation
in August and share that information with the personnel committee of
the Board of Global Ministries. The full board is scheduled to vote on
the matter during its annual meeting in October.
Lois Dauway, who leads the division's Section on Christian Social
Responsibility, has served as interim chief executive since Jan. 1.
said she is "thrilled" to be the Women's Division nominee and looks
forward "to what the division directors, the staff and I can do,
together with the members of United Methodist Women, to work toward the
spiritual and physical wholeness that was God's desire for the creation
from the foundation of the world."
Since 1996, Olson has been senior vice president for publishing,
editor for church school publications and UMC book editor at the United
Methodist Publishing House in Nashville, Tenn. She supervises a staff of
125 to 150 people responsible for the development, production and trade
distribution of resources from Abingdon Press, Cokesbury and Kingwood
Before joining the Publishing House, she worked for the Pitney,
Hardin, Kipp and Szuch law firm of Morristown, N.J., from 1983-96, where
she was a partner in the real estate department, with a specialization
in environmental law, from 1991-96.
From 1988-96, Olson was a director of the United Methodist Board of
Discipleship and was a delegate to the 1988, 1992 and 1996 General
Conferences of the denomination. She also served on a number of
committees with what was then the Northern New Jersey Annual Conference.
She is a member of Morristown (N.J.) United Methodist Church and an
affiliate member of McKendree United Methodist Church in Nashville.
Olson is a 1983 graduate of Harvard Law School and has a bachelor's
degree from Houghton (N.Y.) College, where she serves on the board of
She is a board member of the Protestant Church Owned Publishers
Association and Bible Translation and Utilization Committee of the
National Council of Churches.
*Bloom is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in New York.
News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or email@example.com.
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