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UUSC Names Bill Schulz as New President and CEO
Friday, October 29, 2010
Schulz speaking at the Unitarian Church in Westport, Conn. (Photo by David Vita)
The board of trustees of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee announced Friday that internationally recognized human-rights activist and leader Rev. Dr. William F. Schulz has been named the new UUSC president and chief executive officer.
UUSC Board Chair Rev. John Gibbons said the board voted unanimously to appoint Schulz as the next president, following a lengthy and exhaustive search that considered many highly qualified candidates from across the country.
Schulz, former executive director of Amnesty International USA and former president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, has served as interim president and CEO since March. This followed the resignation of former president Charlie Clements, who went on to lead Harvard University's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.
"UUSC's Search Committee was fortunate to have multiple stellar candidates come forward for consideration as UUSC's next president," said Katherine Hall, UUSC board vice chair and chair of the presidential Search Committee. "After a rigorous and thoughtful nine-month process, our committee was convinced that Bill's track record, credentials, vision, and passion will enable him to work with UUSC's dedicated staff, partners, board, and donors to keep building UUSC and, most fundamentally, to enable it to make a difference in the lives of those who confront unjust power structures every day."
A former UUSC board chair, Schulz initially accepted the interim position with the view that he would serve only until a new president was selected. "My eight months as acting president of UUSC have reaffirmed my conviction that UUSC is one of the most creative and effective human-rights organizations in the country," said Schulz. "Though I didn't seek the job, I am delighted by the prospects of working with a superb staff and board to make human-rights violations a far rarer phenomenon in this world."
Gibbons, a Unitarian Universalist minister at the First Parish Church in Bedford, Mass., and also a member of the Search Committee, said that although Schulz was not a candidate from the beginning, the committee, after reflecting on the attributes he was manifesting as interim director and what he could bring as the regular president, asked him to reconsider.
"Bill's record of accomplishment in human rights is extraordinary," said Gibbons. "He is a scholar of human rights and a passionate advocate. He is also a human being willing to jeopardize his own safety. Bill is the epitome of a Unitarian Universalist who knows that faith commitments are demonstrated foremost by actions and not merely by intentions. He is a spiritual leader who leads by example."
An ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, Schulz served as president of the Unitarian Universalist Association from 1985 to 1993. He also served for six years as a member of the UUSC Board of Trustees, including three years as board chair, and for 12 years as executive director of Amnesty International USA, until the spring of 2006. He is a widely sought public speaker and has appeared frequently on radio and television news and analysis shows. He is the author of several books, including In Our Own Best Interest: How Defending Human Rights Benefits Us All and Tainted Legacy: 9/11 and the Ruin of Human Rights.
The New York Review of Books said in June 2002, "William Schulz has done more than anyone in the American human rights movement to make human rights issues known in the United States."
A graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio, Schulz received a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago and a doctor of ministry degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School at the University of Chicago. He has also been awarded eight honorary degrees.