A three-centuries-old missions organization announced the name of its next leader this past week – two months before the retirement of its present leader.
The United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (USPG) will welcome Janette O'Neill as its new general secretary/chief executive on May 1 as the Anglican group's current leader, Bishop Michael Doe, retires.
O'Neill, who is currently senior program officer with Episcopal Relief & Development in New York, has done extensive humanitarian work in Africa, having led the development office in the Anglican Church in Lesotho and served as senior director for work in Africa that impacted South Africa and Zambia.
"I welcome Mrs. Janette O'Neill as the new General Secretary/Chief Executive of USPG: Anglicans in World Mission," expressed Canon Linda Ali, chair of trustees, in the announcement last week. "Following a highly competitive recruitment process, Janette emerged as an outstanding individual to lead the restructured USPG into a new phase of its life as an Anglican Mission Society.
"Janette will be a great asset to USPG during these challenging times and the Trustees and Staff join me in welcoming her in an exciting phase of USPG's work of Leadership Development and Working for Health," Ali added.
In her own remarks, O'Neil expressed excitement over her pending leadership, and expressed her intention to work with organizations across the worldwide Anglican Communion.
"I look forward to making and renewing relationships with USPG's partners around the Anglican Communion, and to meeting its many faithful supporters in the dioceses and parishes here," she stated.
Founded in 1701 as the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG), USPG today works in direct partnership with Anglican Churches in over 50 countries, helping to support vital church work, including healthcare, education, leadership training and action for social justice. The organization came to be known as USPG following SPG's merger with the Universities' Mission to Central Africa in 1965.
The charity is presently based in London.