Henriette Thompson, who has worked as associate academic dean of the Toronto-based Institute for Christian Studies, has been named the new director of the Anglican Church of Canada’s partnerships department.
Ms. Thompson succeeds Ellie Johnson, who retires March 31.
Ms. Thompson has extensive experience in policy development, long-term planning, conflict resolution and networking with other faith-based and non-governmental organizations.
She is also an active member of St. George’s church in Georgetown, Ont., where she serves as parish co-ordinator for the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF), the Anglican church’s relief and development arm.
“I was raised in a Christian home and became an Anglican in my early ’20s,” she said in an e-mail to the Journal. “The church has been, and continues to be, significant in shaping my faith and practice. I’m grateful for the many opportunities I’ve had to participate in the life of the church at the parish, diocesan and national levels in Ontario and B.C.”
Ms. Thompson has worked in various capacities for World Vision Canada, an international non-governmental organization, among them, as director for its advocacy and education department, as program manager for its East Africa region, as manager for global education, and as resource co-ordinator.
She has also worked with ecumenical bodies, including Kairos, an ecumenical peace and justice group, and the Toronto School of Theology.
As director of partnerships, Ms. Thompson will oversee the church’s program areas of indigenous ministries, justice and healing, eco-justice, and Partners in Mission.
“In my work I’ve witnessed the struggles of children, women and men in Canada and in Africa and elsewhere to exercise their rights to food, healthcare, education as well as to political, economic and cultural rights,” Ms. Thompson said, explaining why she applied for the position. “And, I’ve seen the gradual transformation of communities when people of faith actively participate in working for change in them.” She cited as examples the leadership of African clergy, such as Canon Gideon Byamugisha of Uganda, the first African Anglican priest to openly say he is HIV-positive, “and many, many local caregivers, in addressing the stigma and discrimination experienced by those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS.
“Enormous injustices reflected in global levels of poverty, discrimination, and violence require the active and prayerful partnership of Canadian Anglicans in solidarity with those affected,” she said. “As global climate change intensifies, we will need to be committed to addressing the disproportionately negative effect often experienced first by people living in poverty-affected communities.”
Ms. Thompson has a master of management degree (national voluntary sector leadership) from McGill University, Montreal, a bachelor of arts (political science) from Toronto’s York University, and a diploma in radio broadcasting from Humber College, Toronto.
She and her husband, Paul, have three grown children.