Ms. Gwinneth A. Clarkson resides in Washington, DC. She has a BA degree in International Relations from American University, and an MBA from New York University in International Finance. Her professional experience since 1981 has been in banking and finance. She lived in Bogotá, Colombia, for ten years working in finance and economics. Gwinneth's volunteer activities include two years as Treasurer of a non-profit organization.
Phil Darrow developed a close relationship with the Diocese
of Renk while a member of the Renk Ministry Partnership at
St. Michael’s in Barrington, IL, traveling to Renk and
various other dioceses several times since 2008. Having
headed past fundraising efforts both for Renk Theological
College and for the Province of the ECS, Phil has worked
most recently to foster a closer working relationship
between the Diocese of Renk and USAID and its partner NGO in
Upper Nile State, IOM. Phil has also acted as a liaison
between the Diocese of Renk and USAID, relaying real-time
reports from the border area, particularly as to the
returnee and refugee situation and embargo-related resource
shortages, to USAID staff in Juba, Addis Ababa and
Washington. Now a member of the Parish of St. Matthew,
Pacific Palisades, CA, Phil is a lawyer for KB Home. He has
been on the AFRECS Board since 2008 and serves as its
After graduation from Northwestern University in Evanston,
Illinois, Ray Gaebler served in the U.S. Navy at the
beginning of the Viet Nam War. Ray began his
relationship with Sudan in 1998 when Joseph Garang Atem, now
Bishop of Renk, came to study at Seabury Western Seminary in
Evanston, Illinois. A long standing relationship,
still vibrant today, was established between St Michael’s
Episcopal Church in Barrington, Illinois and The Diocese of
Renk. Ray’s interest in Sudan was deepened when,
moving to Iowa at retirement after thirty-eight years of
Home Office Management with Sears, he met Samuel Peni who
was studying at Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa.
Ray’s tenure on the Diocese of Iowa Board of Directors
included the establishment of a Companion Relationship with
Bishop Peni’s Diocese of Nzara. Currently, Ray is the
Coordinator of the Nzara Companions in Iowa. Ray’s
previous activities include two other long service
associations. His leadership was instrumental in
establishing the Ecumenical Cursillo of Illinois, a renewal
focused movement in which he volunteered for twenty-four
years. A highlight of this ministry was Ray’s
participation in the first Protestant Cursillo in Northern
Ireland. For ten years he also worked in state
and federal prisons as an active religious
volunteer. After a lifetime of involvement in
the Church as a “Cradle Episcopalian”, Ray is looking
forward to the opportunity to serve on the AFRECS Board.
Independent consultant focused on Africa and working in the fields of economic development planning, program management and evaluation since retiring from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in 1994. USAID career spanned 30 years of which 22 were in African field assignments (Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Tanzania, Sudan and Ivory Coast), 17 in positions of executive responsibility for large unit management and seven years as Director of two field missions (USAID Mission to Sudan, and the Regional Office for West and Central Africa in Ivory Coast) and one Washington geographic office (Sahel West Africa). After leaving USAID, served as the Director of the core staff of the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning System, 1998 – 2000. Educated at the University of Minnesota, B.A., cum laude, in 1961 (International Relations with minors in International Economics and German) and at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, M.A.L.D. in 1963 and Ph.D. in 1976 (Concentrations in International and Development Economics).
The Rev. Dr. Ellen J. Hanckel, Rector of Christ Episcopal Church, Martinsville, VA, since 2004, has been a member of AFRECS since 2005. She has Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from University of the South at Sewanee. She has been a freelance writer and reporter. Ellen has served as a volunteer for many community organizations. She represented the Diocese of VA on a trip to southern Sudan for the dedication of the Marc Nikkel School in Maar. She and her husband, Scott Derks, attended the Salisbury-Sudan link conference in July 2008, held in Salisbury.
The Rev. Frederick L. Houghton (Rick) is a retired priest of the Diocese of Eastern Michigan. He taught at St. Mary's Theological School, Odibo, Namibia and the General Theological Seminary and served congregations in New York City, the Detroit area and the Diocese of Eastern Michigan. He has a MA and an ABD in African history from Michigan State University. In 2000 he spent six weeks at Kakuma Refugee Camp in Northern Kenya teaching in the Malek Bible School and briefly visited South Sudan with Bishop Nathaniel Garang of the Diocese of Bor. His current interest is the Democratic Party.
Steven Miles is a partner at the international law firm Baker Botts L.L.P., based in the Washington, DC office. He serves on the firm’s Executive Committee, and as Chair of the firmwide Energy Sector Committee. His practice focuses on the energy sector in the United States and internationally, particularly in the liquefied natural gas (LNG), natural gas, electric power and renewable energy industries. Steven was resident in Saudi Arabia from 1992-94, where he opened a law office in Jeddah. He managed the Middle East practice for two law firms thereafter, and served as the lead outside counsel for the National U.S. Arab Chamber of Commerce for a decade. Steven graduated with a JD degree from Cornell Law School and an MBA degree from the Cornell Graduate School of Management in 1984, and with a Bachelor of Ars degree from Union College in 1980. Steven and his family attend St. Thomas Episcopal Church in McLean, Virginia.
C. Richard Parkins
Richard Parkins recently completed fourteen years of service as director of Episcopal Migration Ministries - the refugee and immigration assistance and advocacy arm of The Episcopal Church. Richard has worked in the refugee field for the past 28 years, commencing his career as director of operations for the US Office of Refugee Resettlement in 1980 and serving in various capacities with non-profit resettlement agencies including Lutheran Refugee and Immigration Service and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. From 2006-2008 Richard served as chair of the Refugee Council USA- the major U.S. coalition of refugee assistance and refugee rights organizations. In May 2008, Richard was a member of an Episcopal-Lutheran delegation to the enthronement of Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul and used that occasion to understand more fully the circumstances facing returning refugees and IDPS subsequent to the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Plan.
In 1998, Richard was a part of a church visit to the Sudan under the leadership of the late Marc Nikkel. In addition to time with Sudanese refugees in the Kakuma camp in northern Kenya, this church mission traveled extensively in the Diocese of Bor with Bishop Nathaniel Garang and Marc Nikkel. In that same year, Richard was a representative of The Episcopal Church to a roundtable of the Sudan Council of Churches where he was also hosted by the then Bishop of Renk, Bishop Daniel Deng Bul. Since his early work with Marc Nikkel, Richard has been an advocate for a more robust policy by the USG in advancing the rights and welfare of the southern Sudanese community in their struggle for justice and peace and was a part of the initial efforts to establish AFRECS.
Richard's career has included consultancy work for The Ford Foundation in India, the Asian Development Bank in Malaysia, the World Bank in Thailand, and the UNDP in Jamaica. Following his graduate training at the University of Pennsylvania, Richard taught at San Francisco State University.