Leadership of the NCC


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The President of the NCC presides over sessions of Governing Board and is a major participant in the biannual General Assembly of the NCC and its partner humanitarian ministry, Church World Service. The current President of the Council, who began a two-year term in January 2010, is Rev. Peg Chemberlin, a Moravian minister who is executive director of the Minnesota Council of Churches, Minneapolis and a graduate of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.

She succeeded Archbishop Vicken Aykazian of Washington, D.C., Turkish-born legate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern).   Archbishop Aykazian, who served 2008-2009, is the former Primate of the Armenian Church of Switzerland, holds a Ph.D in history and is working on a second Ph.D in theology at Catholic University in Washington.

The president-elect, who will succeed Chemberlin in January 2012, is Kathryn M. Lohre, assistant director of the Pluralism Project at Harvard University and a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches.

Previous NCC presidents were: Rev. Michael Livingston (2006-2007), Bishop Thomas L. Hoyt Jr (2004-2005), Elenie K. Huszagh (2002-2003), Ambassador Andrew Young (2000-2001), Rt. Rev. Craig B. Anderson (1998-1999), Bishop Melvin G. Talbert (1996-1997), Rev. Dr. Gordon L. Sommers (1994-1995), Rev. Dr. Syngman Rhee (1992-1993), Very Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky (1990-1991), Rev. Patricia McClurg (1988-1989), Bishop Philip R. Cousin (1983-1987), Bishop James Armstrong (1982-1983), Rev. M. William Howard (1979-1981), William P. Thompson (1975-1978), Rev. W. Sterling Cary (1972-1975), Cynthia C. Wedel (1969-1972), Arthur S. Flemming (1966-1969), Bishop Reuben H. Mueller (1963-1966), J. Irwin Miller (1960-1963), Rev. Edwin T. Dahlberg of the American Baptist Churches U.S.A. (1957-1960), Rev. Eugene Carson Blake (1954-1957), Bishop William C. Martin (1952-1954), and the founding president, Rt. Rev. Henry Knox Sherrill (1950-1952).

General Secretary

The General Secretary is the Council's chief administrative officer. The Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, a Disciples of Christ minister, theologian, and a long-time leader in ecumenical activities, became the Council's ninth General Secretary on January 1, 2008.   He came to the NCC from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, where he had been the Allen and Dottie Miller Professor of Mission, Peace and Ecumenical Studies since 2000.   He was Professor of Theology and Ecumenical Studies at Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky from 1988 to 2000 and was Dean of the seminary from 1988 to 1998.   He also taught at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, from 1983 to 1988, and was a visiting professor at United Theological College and South Asian Theological Institute, Bangalore, India, in 1987 and 1997.

Kinnamon was Executive Secretary of the World Council of Churches' Commission on Faith and Order from 1980 to 1983, and was General Secretary of the Consultation on Church Union, which became Churches Uniting in Christ, from 1999 to 2002.

His predecessor at NCC was Rev. Bob Edgar, a United Methodist and a former pastor, seminary president, and six-term member of Congress, who led the NCC from January 2000 until mid-2007.   Edgar is now President and CEO of Common Cause, a national public policy advocacy organization founded by the late John W. Gardner and industrialist J. Irwin Miller, who was the first lay president of the NCC (1960-63).

Previous general secretaries were: Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell (1991-1999), James A. Hamilton, Esq. (1989-1991), Rev. Arie R. Brouwer (1985-1989), Claire Randall (1974-1984), R.H. Edwin Espy (1963-1973), Rev. Roy G. Ross (1954-1963), and Rev. Samuel McCrea Cavert (1950-1954).

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