Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, Chair
Former General Superintendant, Wesleyan Church
The Ambassador is a position specifically created by action of the General Board to retain the considerable connections and influence of Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, former General Superintendent. The Wesleyan Church is pleased that she will continue to be available at selected multi-faith venues, international gatherings, and other events to which she may be invited or commissioned, using her voice to extend the ministry and influence of the church. Dr. Lyon serves on the board of directors of many organizations as representative of The Wesleyan Church including the National Association of Evangelicals Executive Committee, Christian Community Development Association, National Religious Partnership for the Environment, Asbury Theological Seminary Board, Council on Faith of the World Economic Forum, the President of The United States Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Dr. Lyon holds a Masters Degree in Counseling, continued graduate studies in Historical Theology and has been granted five honorary doctorates. As the founder and CEO of World Hope International, Alexandria, VA, she directed the faith-based relief and development organizations into over 30 countries to alleviate suffering and injustice. Dr. Lyon and her husband, Rev. Wayne Lyon, live in the Indianapolis area. They have four children and 10 grandchildren.
Cassandra Carmichael, Executive Director
Executive Director, NRPE
Prior to joining NRPE in September 2013, Cassandra was the Washington Office and Eco-Justice Program director for the National Council of Churches USA. In her role at the NCC, she oversaw the Council's advocacy and eco-justice work and worked to set and implement strategic priorities in partnership with various stakeholders. Previously, she was director of faith-based outreach at the Center for a New American Dream, where she worked to encourage communities of faith to take action to protect God's Creation. She received her graduate degree in environmental education from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Ms. Carmichael has delivered numerous regional and national conference plenary presentations and written various articles and essays on faith and environment. Her articles have appeared in publications such as Race, Poverty and the Environment; Holy Ground; and Heartstone. Ms. Carmichael is a senior fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program and a previous board member on the Chesapeake Bay Alliance, and she has also served on the White House Faith-Based and Neighborhood Advisory Council Task Force on Climate and Environment and the Advisory Council of the Green Bible.
Kara Ball, Treasurer
Girl Scouts of America
In addition to serving on the board for NRPE, Kara accepted a position with the Girl Scouts of America in early 2019. Previously, she has worked with EcoAmerica as the Faith Sector Director, served as the Director of Strategic Relationships with National Wildlife Federation where she helped build new partnerships and relationships with business, faith leaders, President’s Advisory Council members and supporters to advance climate solutions, environmental education, and habitat conservation priorities. Kara served as Executive Director of the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship in Virginia. She also served as Director of Sustainable Countrysides with Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, and worked for seven years with Booz, Allen & Hamilton management consulting firm, directing projects for private and public sector clients including the Environmental Protection Agency. Kara holds a Master of Public Policy with a concentration in environmental policy and an emphasis on sustainable economic development, and a Master of Business Administration, both from the University of Maryland. When she’s not working, Kara enjoys jogging and birding. She is a certified Virginia Master Naturalist, a trained Climate Reality presenter, and joined her husband Rev. Jim Ball for the “What Would Jesus Drive” tour and educational campaign to reduce pollution and fuel consumption from our transportation choices.
Rev. Dr. Jeremy Summers
Evangelical Environmental Network
Rev. Dr. Jeremy Summers is the Board Chair for the Evangelical Environmental Network and is passionate about advocacy, education, and mobilization. He is an Affiliate Faculty member at Indiana Wesleyan University and also holds teaching roles at Southern Wesleyan University and Oklahoma University. Jeremy previously has served as the Director of Spiritual Formation and Community Based Ministries for The Wesleyan Denomination and has pastored at four Wesleyan churches. Jeremy is an author of over a half dozen books and has published numerous articles on theology, spiritual formation, the environment, and politics. He is ordained in The Wesleyan Church and holds degrees from Indiana Wesleyan University, Asbury Theological Seminary, and Fuller Theological Seminary. Rev. Dr. Jeremy Summers is the Board Chair for the Evangelical Environmental Network and is passionate about advocacy, education, and mobilization. He is an Affiliate Faculty member at Indiana Wesleyan University and also holds teaching roles at Southern Wesleyan University and Oklahoma University.
Franciscan Action Network
Michele Dunne, OFS is the Executive Director of the Franciscan Action Network. Michelle is a professed Secular Franciscan who has spent her career prior to FAN on U.S. foreign policy and the Middle East. Since 2006, she has headed programs in non-governmental organizations focusing on the promotion of peace and human rights, most recently at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Before that, she had a career of nearly 20 years in the U.S. Department of State, including assignments in Jerusalem and Cairo. She holds a Ph.D. from Georgetown University.
Rev. Dr. Leslie Tune Copeland
Chief Operating Officer, National Council of Churches
Rev. Dr. Copeland-Tune has served as the Director of Mobilization for the NCC’s “A.C.T. Now to End Racism” events, the director of the Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice, and as Minister of Congregational Live for Clifton Park Baptist Church. In 2018, she was given the President’s Award for Excellence in Faithful Leadership at the NCC’s Christian Unity Gathering. Dr. Copeland-Tune has held numerous positions of importance in the ecumenical movement including that of director for the Ecumenical Poverty Initiative, an anti-poverty ministry which adds a prophetic voice and collective action to the fight to end poverty. She has also been a consultant for the Conference of National Black Churches and Faith in Public Life, a DC-based advocacy group.
Director, Office of Domestic Social Development, U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops
Richard works closely with Bread on the Circle of Protection, the alliance of Christian leaders committed to ending poverty. Coll formerly served as foreign policy advisor for the office of international justice and peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and as director for the subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions. Coll previously worked in banking and international economic policy. He is a parishioner at Holy Trinity Church, Washington, D.C., is fluent in Spanish and French, and holds degrees from Harvard College and Law School.
Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton
Christian Medthodist Episcopal Church
Rev. Dr. Jefferson-Snorton is a pastor, preacher, teacher, chaplain, author and executive leader in religion and pastoral care.
As an ordained CME (Christian Methodist Episcopal) minister, Bishop Snorton has a passion for the local church, but also for interfaith and multifaith initiatives that meet the needs of people and communities. In June 2010, Rev. Dr. Jefferson-Snorton was elected the 59th Bishop of the CME Church, the denomination's first female elected to the episcopal office. For nine months, she served as Presiding Bishop for the Eleventh Episcopal District, which is comprised of ten countries in central and southern Africa. In March 2011, she was appointed to serve as Presiding Bishop of the Fifth Episcopal District (Alabama and Florida).
Religious Action Center for Reformed Judaism
Barbara Weinstein is the Religious Action Center's Associate Director, where she helps guide the RAC’s broad range of social justice work. She is also the Director of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, a joint body of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Union for Reform Judaism and its affiliates. The Commission seeks to apply the insights of Jewish tradition to domestic and foreign public policy issues including civil rights, economic justice, immigration, the environment, and more.
Before joining the RAC in 2002, Barbara worked in the U.S. House of Representatives. While on Capitol Hill, Barbara's public policy portfolio included women's rights, human rights, and the environment.
Barbara holds a M.A. in Political Management from The George Washington University and a B.A. in Political Science from McGill University in Montreal.
Bishop Carroll A. Baltimore
Creation Justice Ministries; International Community Baptist Churches
Bishop Carroll A. Baltimore, Sr., ThD, DMin, is the Board Chair for Creation Justice Ministries. He is the senior pastor and leader of the International Community Baptist Churches, USA and the Philippines as well as the founder of the CAB Outreach International Ministries, Inc., a nonprofit network of interdenominational Christian churches, partners, and affiliates that focus on the global mission.
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Arden Shenker, a lawyer with expertise in energy, and gas law, is past chair of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.
Catholic Relief Services
Bill O’Keefe is the Executive Vice President for Mission and Mobilization for Catholic Relief Services with an expertise in international issues.
Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe
United Methodist Church
Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe is immediate past General Secretary for the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church and was the first woman elected President of the Methodist Judicial Council.