Introducing GLIDE’s new President and CEO, Karen Hanrahan
Circumstances nationally and locally this week preempted our plans to introduce you earlier to GLIDE’s new President and Chief Executive Officer. Karen started on the job last week and is already very much in the thick of all things GLIDE! We look forward to bringing you more of her voice soon. In the meantime, please enjoy the introduction below—and come to this Sunday’s Celebration on August 27, a special interfaith service of hope and inspiration, where Karen will be introduced to the congregation and public.
After a nationwide search lasting more than a year, GLIDE is thrilled to welcome Karen Hanrahan as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. This is a new position, created last year by GLIDE’s Board of Trustees as part of a carefully managed transition plan. The intention throughout has been to ensure that GLIDE retains the dynamic leadership necessary to carry its social justice mission forward, as Co-Founders Rev. Cecil Williams and Janice Mirikitani move to part-time positions, having guided and grown GLIDE with phenomenal success and impact for over five decades.
In Karen, GLIDE’s Board enthusiastically embraced a person of exceptional ability, experience and compassion. Karen comes to GLIDE as an executive leader with 20 years of experience advancing human rights and building high-impact global initiatives around the world, most recently as a senior appointee in the Obama administration, where she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
In a variety of roles throughout her life and career, including as a United Nations aid worker and the chief program officer for the Center for Reproductive Rights, Karen has brought creativity and innovation to intractable challenges in economic development, global health and international human rights.
At GLIDE, Karen will work closely with longstanding Executive Director Rita Shimmin, an energized Board of Trustees under new Chair Kaye Foster, an inspiring pastoral team led by new Lead Pastor Dr. Jay Williams, and a diverse and committed staff to deepen and grow GLIDE as a social movement.
With the current state of inequality and injustice in America—combined with the growing movement to change this reality—now more than ever we need to carry on and build upon the revolutionary work of co-founders Cecil and Janice and their legacy of radical inclusion and unconditional love. Karen will help us deepen the impact of GLIDE’s work and elevate GLIDE’s voice to a national level.
“It’s an exciting time to join GLIDE and to be a part of this inspiring leadership team,” says Karen. “Jan and Cecil’s voices, the work that they have done, have been felt far beyond San Francisco. There is a renewed energy around equality and justice in America. GLIDE’s thought leadership and values are needed more than ever to help drive and shape the inevitable change that is to come.”
“We found a President, Karen, who is authentic and courageous,” says Janice Mirikitani, “and who will attract new resources and inspire supporters of GLIDE’s values into deeper commitments.”
“Women’s leadership is the future of our world,” says Rev. Cecil Williams. “GLIDE remains on the forefront of history by continuing to hire the best women leaders in the world. Welcome, Karen!”
Rita Shimmin adds, “I look forward to working together with Karen and all our new leadership. GLIDE is on the verge of its next 50 years of greatness. Together with our wonderful staff, we are unstoppable!”