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Washington, July 28, 2009 – Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos, National Council of Churches’ Senior Program Director for Faith & Order and Interfaith Relations, has been elected chair of the Save Darfur Coalition by the Coalition’s Board of Directors.
In this role, Kireopoulos will oversee the coalition’s efforts to raise public awareness about the genocide in Darfur and advocate for a lasting and just peace in Sudan and the surrounding region.
“As the genocide in Darfur has continued to take its toll on millions of innocent civilians, the collective voices of concerned people of faith and conscience have continued to call for an end to this horror,” said Kireopoulos.
“The urgency of achieving peace in Darfur has not diminished and will not do so until the violence stops, and the men, women and children displaced by these crimes are able to safely return to their homeland."
As board chair, Dr. Kireopoulos will oversee the affairs of the coalition’s advocacy campaign executed by its staff of 25 professional organizers, policy advisors and communications specialists.
The Save Darfur Coalition is an alliance of more than 180 faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations that raises public awareness about the ongoing genocide in Darfur and mobilizes a unified response to the atrocities that threaten the lives of people throughout the Darfur region.
The coalition’s member organizations represent 130 million people of all ages, races, religions and political affiliations united together to help the people of Darfur.
Earlier,Kireopoulos served the National Council of Churches as Associate General Secretary for International Affairs and Peace. Previously his responsibilities included helping the NCC formulate its position on international issues and U.S. foreign policy. High on the agenda were the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Iraq War, and Darfur.
His responsibilities in international affairs often called upon his experience in interfaith relations. In the last four years he was extensively involved in initiatives of the Interfaith Relations Commission. Before he came to the NCC, he served as executive director of the U.S. Conference of Religions for Peace, which is a national non-profit organization that promotes multi-religious collaboration and religious-secular partnerships on issues that cut across community lines. He also served as advisor to the secretary general of the World Conference on Religion and Peace, the USCRP’s parent organization, which advances this same mission globally.
Dr. Kireopoulos has also been closely associated with the Faith and Order Commission and has spent most of the last 20 years in ecumenical dialogue. This began with a seminary internship and continued through his membership on the Commission, where he represented the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Dr. Kireopoulos holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in theology from Fordham University (2003); a Master of Divinity degree from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary (1991); a Master of International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management (1983); and a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree from Georgetown University (1981).
Dr. Kireopoulos has more than 15 years of experience in non-profit management, including administration, board relations, budgeting, development, program direction and public relations.
Previous to leading the United States Conference of Religions for Peace, he worked as Special Assistant to the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, where his duties included representing the Greek Orthodox Church at the United Nations and at the US State Department, and as the Assistant to the Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America, in the area of executive communications.
Among his affiliations, he is the past president of the United Nations NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief.
The full Save Darfur Coalition board of directors includes:
Vice-Chairperson: Sam Bell, Genocide Intervention Network;
NCC News contact:
Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell) ,
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