Women's Division Directors Elect Olson to Lead Organization
by Yvette Moore*
Nasvhille, Aug. 17, 2007 - Women's Division directors elected Harriett Jane Olson deputy general secretary of the Women's Division of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries during a called meeting of the directors at Scarritt-Bennett Center Aug. 17. Ms. Olson will assume the position based at the board's New York City headquarters Sept. 4.
"Today is indeed a significant day in the history of United Methodist Women organized for mission," said Women's Division President Kyung Za Yim. "We have all been praying for divine guidance and accompaniment during our period of discernment and as the time for decision-making approached. This day we make a choice to elect Harriett Jane Olson deputy general secretary of the Women's Division."
Women's Division deputy general secretary also serves in other leadership and management roles in the General Board of Global Ministries. The board's personnel committee and directors will vote on Ms. Olson's nomination in September and October meetings.
Ms. Olson commented on Women's Division's role as the national policy making body of United Methodist Women after her election.
"One of the reasons this is so exciting is it's a particular assignment," Ms. Olson said. "United Methodist Women are called to do something not being done by the rest of the church. 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 action."
Since 1996, Ms. Olson has served at the United Methodist Publishing House as senior vice-president for publishing, editor for church school publications and United Methodist Church book editor. She supervised a staff of 125-150 persons responsible for the development, production and trade distribution of resources from Abingdon Press, Cokesbury and Kingswood Books.
Ms. Olson is a Harvard Law School graduate and former partner at Pitney, Hardin, Kipp and Szuch, 1983-1996, specializing in environmental law in the firm's real estate department.
Ms. Olson is a member of Morristown United Methodist Church in Morristown, N.J., and an affiliate member of McKendree United Methodist Church in Nashville.
*Yvette Moore is an executive secretary for communications for the Women's Division of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries.