Robert Radtke, president of Episcopal Relief and Development, has announced that Abagail Nelson has been named senior vice president of programs.
Nelson has served as vice president of programs since 2005, and was previously ERD's program associate for Latin American and the Caribbean. She joined ERD in 1999.
"Under [Nelson's] stewardship the programs of ERD have reached nearly $20 million per year in over 40 countries," said Radtke in making the announcement. "She has played an important leadership role in shaping and overseeing all of ERD's programs in Latin America, Asia and Africa and particularly ERD's Katrina Response program and NetsforLife®. The journey that ERD has made since its days as the Presiding Bishop's Fund for World Relief would not have been possible without Abagail's many gifts and her commitment to ERD's mission to serve the least of these, as we are asked to do by Jesus in Matthew 25."
Radtke said that Nelson will play a critical role in a strategic planning process that ERD will begin soon to shape its mission for the next three to five years.
As director of Latin American programs, Nelson helped the Episcopal Church throughout Latin America design and implement programs that respond to natural and manmade disasters and reduce communities' exposure to future risk. She oversaw ERD programs for vulnerable populations that include new housing and infrastructure construction, small business development and training, disaster mitigation and reforestation, and small agriculture and fisheries investment.
Most recently, Nelson oversaw ERD's food security, HIV/AIDS and emergency relief programs.
Before coming to ERD, Nelson, the daughter of an Episcopal priest, worked with the government of Ecuador on its coastal resource management program and as a financial analyst of Latin American telecommunications companies for several investment banks. She earned her B.A. in Government from Harvard College and her M.Sc. in Economic Development from the London School of Economics.