John L. McCullough

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Rev. John L. McCullough "is Executive Director and CEO of Church World Service, an international humanitarian agency and cooperative ministry of 35 Protestant, Orthodox, and Anglican denominations and communions. Church World Service provides sustainable self-help and development, disaster relief, and refugee assistance in some 80 countries including the U.S.

"Since joining Church World Service (CWS) in June of 2000, Rev. McCullough has been at the forefront of the organization's expanding role as advocate for human rights and the empowerment of civil society in developing countries. McCullough asks, “What institution could be expected to be more compassionate than the church? Yet the church has been complicit in the continuing agony of ... people by its reluctance at times to be a sign of compassion or a prophetic voice for justice.”

"As part of a hands-on style, Rev. McCullough has twice visited CWS earthquake recovery efforts in Pakistan, where the agency has a 50-year history. In the immediate aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, McCullough participated in assessing needs along the U.S. Gulf Coast, as CWS geared up relief and recovery efforts there. And, in early 2005, he went to tsunami-ravaged areas of Indonesia, to witness CWS recovery efforts in Aceh province. In early 2003 Rev. McCullough served as a member of a high-level humanitarian research mission to Iraq, sponsored by the Center for Social and Economic Rights. On behalf of Church World Service, he spoke out against military control of humanitarian response in Iraq.

"Rev. McCullough is the architect of the multi-year Africa Initiative. Church World Service has been instrumental in working for peace on the continent. In collaboration with the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) and with the World Council of Churches, CWS is partnering in the Eminent Persons Ecumenical Program for Peace in Africa, launched in West Africa in 2005. And, in early 2006 McCullough led a delegation to Liberia for the Conference on Peace Consolidation in the Mano River Basin.

"In March 2003, he was invited to present to members of the UN HABITAT community his vision for the establishment of School Safe Zones across Africa--a concept that is currently being piloted by CWS in a number of schools in Kenya, with the endorsement and participation of the government of Kenya. Also in collaboration with the AACC, McCullough is coordinating inter-religious participation from Africa and the U.S. in a conference to be held in Washington, D.C., in July 2006.

"Also as part of the McCullough-initiated Africa focus, the Orphans and Vulnerable Children Program, "Giving Hope," begun in Rwanda, is reaching out and empowering child heads of household--children whose parents have died or are dying of HIV/AIDS, or who were killed in the 1994 genocide. The model is now being successfully replicated in Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.

"In the Americas under McCullough’s leadership, Church World Service is partnering with grassroots and indigenous groups in the Gran Chaco region of South America to nurture development and the recovery and preservation of indigenous rights and culture. And, CWS is coordinating a network of partners working to protect and empower street children and other vulnerable children in the region.

"In November 2003, McCullough co-led a delegation to North and South Korea as a part of Church World Service’s humanitarian aid for the people of North Korea. In 2004, he led a delegation to Colombia on behalf of the rights of oppressed Afro-Colombians.

"McCullough has keynoted and introduced a variety of humanitarian conferences and symposia. In 2003, he delivered the prestigious Lowell Lecture at Boston University, “ Compassion and Ethics: Korea and the Paradigm for Reconciliation.” With the courage to speak on behalf of what may be perceived as the "less popular" humanitarian causes, he joined Senator Edward Kennedy in opening the CWS-sponsored Haitian Migration Crisis Conference in Washington, D.C., in February 2003, and subsequently has been outspoken on the political and environmental upheaval in that country, while urging for fair and equitable treatment of Haitian detainees.

"McCullough, an ordained elder in the Southern New England Conference of The United Methodist Church , has broad international experience, including pastorates in Kenya as well as the U.S., and leadership within The United Methodist Church’s General Board of Global Ministries. He has received Boston University School of Theology’s Distinguished Alumnus Award (2003); the Esther Smith International Missions Award from the Progressive National Baptist Convention (2004); and a Peace and Justice Award from Eastern Mennonite University (2005)." [1]