|Olson elected to lead church's Women's Division|
By Yvette Moore*
Aug. 21, 2007 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS)
Harriett Jane Olson, an executive with the United Methodist
Publishing House, has been elected chief executive of the Women's
Division of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.
Olson will oversee the administrative arm and policy-making body of
United Methodist Women, a denominational organization of approximately
800,000 members in the United States. Its purpose is to foster spiritual
growth, develop leaders and advocate for justice, and its members give
more than $20 million a year for ministries related to women, children
and youth around the world.
She will begin the job Sept. 4 at the board's headquarters in New
York. She succeeds Jan Love, who left at the end of 2006 to become dean
of the Candler School of Theology in Atlanta.
Olson was elected Aug. 17 at Scarritt-Bennett Center during a called meeting of the Women's Division board of directors.
In her new job, Olson will serve in other leadership and management
roles in the Board of Global Ministries. The board's personnel committee
and directors are expected to approve her nomination at their September
and October meetings.
"It's a privilege to stand with women,
children and youth. It's a role particularly well-connected to our
theological DNA as United Methodists —spiritual nurture and
-Harriett Jane Olson
Olson expressed excitement about working with the Women's Division,
including its role as an advocate for the oppressed and dispossessed,
with special attention to the needs of women and children.
"United Methodist Women are called to do something not being done by
the rest of the church," she said. "It's a privilege to stand with
women, children and youth. It's a role particularly well-connected to
our theological DNA as United Methodists — spiritual nurture and
Since 1996, Olson has served as senior vice president for publishing,
editor for church school publications and United Methodist Church book
editor at the Publishing House. She supervised a staff of 125 to 150
people responsible for the development, production and trade
distribution of resources from Abingdon Press, Cokesbury and Kingswood
Olson is a 1983 graduate of Harvard Law School and former partner at
Pitney, Hardin, Kipp and Szuch, where she worked 1983-96, specializing
in environmental law in the firm's real estate department.
She was a director of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship
1988-96 and has been a delegate to four General Conferences of the
denomination. She is a member of Morristown (N.J.) United Methodist
Church and an affiliate member of McKendree United Methodist Church in
*Moore is on the communications staff for the Women's Division of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.
News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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