AFRECS: American Friends of the Episcopal Church of
              Sudan

PO Box 12026
3737 Seminary Road Alexandria, VA 22304

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Board Member Biographies

BIOGRAPHIES

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Gwinneth A. Clarkson

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.

Philip H. Darrow

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 President.

Ray Gaebler

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.

Frederick E. Gilbert

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

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 Houghton

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.

The Rev. E. Ross Kane

The Rev. E. Ross Kane is assistant to the rector at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Alexandria, Virginia. Ross grew up near Ashland , Virginia. He received a B.A. in Foreign Affairs and Religious Studies from the University of Virginia and an M. Div. from Duke Divinity School in May 2009. Before entering graduate school he served three years with the Episcopal Church's Young Adult Service Corps, working under Dr. Haruun Ruun, director of the New Sudan Council of Churches in Nairobi, in their support of peacemaking in southern Sudan. His work was documented in a film entitled "The Blood of the Bull", part of the 12-film series "Windows on Mission" commissioned by the Office of Anglican and Global Relations of the Episcopal Church. Ross is married to the former Liz Doughty, a health consultant and former Peace Corps volunteer in Mozambique. Ross was a resident steward at the Lambeth Conference of 2008 and attended the Diocese of Salisbury's Sudan Partners' meeting which preceded that Conference.

Steven Miles

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.

Russell Randle

Russ Randle is an attorney, a partner in the Washington, DC office of Patton Boggs LLP, a large law firm. His practice includes export controls and foreign sanctions work, including questions arising under the Sudan Sanctions Regulations, as well as litigation and environmental work. Russ has worked with the Diocese of Renk in Sudan since 1997, having gone to Sudan three times in support of that work, most recently in May 2006, and to Kenya and Uganda in 2002 to the Kakuma Refugee Camp, and to meet with the Wycliffe team working on the Dinka Old Testament. Russ has worked at the national level of the Episcopal Church as a deputy to General Convention from Virginia (2003, 2006), and in lobbying on Sudan issues in coordination with the Episcopal Church's Office of Government Relations. He has been a member of Christ Church, Alexandria since 1980, and has served in many positions there.

The Rev. Phoebe Roaf

The Reverend Phoebe A. Roaf is the 22nd rector of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church. Mother Roaf, a fourth generation Episcopalian, has deep roots in Virginia as both of her mother's parents were born and raised in the Commonwealth. Mother Phoebe grew up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. She obtained an undergraduate degree in US History from Harvard College and a Master's Degree in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. After pursuing a career in public policy, she returned to Arkansas to attend the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law. In the midst of her legal career in New Orleans, Mother Phoebe was called to ordained ministry. She graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) in 2008.   Mother Phoebe was the first African-American woman to be ordained as an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Louisiana. Her first position after graduating from VTS was Associate Rector of Trinity New Orleans, the largest Episcopal church in the Diocese of Louisiana, where she served for three years. She was the first person of color to serve as a priest at Trinity.    When Mother Phoebe accepted the call from St. Philip’s in 2011, she became the first woman to serve as Rector of the church in its 150 year history.
 

Executive Director Biography

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.

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