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MCC names directors of joint international program
July 18, 2011
Don Peters, executive director of MCC Canada, and J Ron Byler, executive director of MCC U.S., are pleased to announce that Willie Reimer has been appointed as director of programs for MCC Canada and Ruth Keidel Clemens as director of programs for MCC U.S.
Together, the program directors will administer MCC’s international program, which is jointly owned by MCC Canada and MCC U.S. Individually, they also will give leadership to domestic programs in their own countries. They will begin transitioning into their new roles Sept. 1, 2011.
Reimer has served as the director of MCC’s Food, Disaster and Material Resources department since 1997. Clemens is the executive director of MCC East Coast, a position she has filled since 2007.
“Willie’s extensive international experiences, along with his strong network of relationships, both within MCC and in the broader community of nongovernment organizations, are tremendous assets at this point in time,” said Peters.
Byler said, “In leading MCC East Coast programs, Ruth has demonstrated her commitment to work with the churches. Ruth’s appointment should be a strong signal about MCC’s desire to strengthen its connections with our sponsoring denominations in the United States and with Anabaptist churches around the world.”
Their appointments are part of MCC’s restructuring process, New Wineskins, which follows the creation of a new shared vision and purpose for MCC, a process known as New Wine. By appointing program directors in both countries, MCC Canada and MCC U.S. will be equally responsible for and invested in MCC’s international program.
Reimer’s first involvement with MCC was in 1973 when he served as an MCC service worker in Nigeria. He has taught at Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute in Winnipeg and served as an MCC representative in Nigeria and Sudan and as the MCC regional representative for East Africa.
“I fully support MCC’s approach which combines relief, development and peace,” said Reimer. “One of the strengths of MCC is working in long-term partnership with churches and partner organizations in 60 countries. This collaboration enables MCC to address the needs and concerns of the most vulnerable people affected by conflict, disaster and economic challenges.”
Reimer and his wife, Ingrid von Kampen, live in Winnipeg. He is a member of Rivereast Mennonite Brethren Church. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in math from University of Winnipeg in 1973 and a master’s degree in peace studies from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind., in 1997.
Clemens, who lives in Baltimore, Md., with her husband, Jonathan Clemens, and their four young adult children, is a member of North Baltimore Mennonite Church, a Mennonite Church USA congregation.
“I look forward to working closely with MCC Canada and with MCC’s ongoing partners around the world, building on the strengths of this 90-year-old organization that is MCC,” said Clemens.
Her international experience began as a child in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where her parents were missionaries. She later served in Congo with Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission and MCC for five years, and worked in MCC’s Human Resources department, at its Akron, Pa., office. As MCC representatives, she and her husband led programs in Cambodia for five years.
Clemens has extensive experience in nonprofit program development and management, working in Baltimore with The Shepherd’s Clinic, Asylum Seekers Housing Network, Mennonite Voluntary Service and World Relief.
She holds a master’s degree in management of nonprofits from College of Notre Dame of Maryland, a master’s degree in community/agency counseling from Western Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree in music and psychology from Indiana University.