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American Friends Service Committee Appoints Shan Cretin as Next General Secretary

American Friends Service Committee Appoints Shan Cretin as Next General Secretary

Shan Cretin

Shan Cretin

Photo: AFSC

Shan Cretin Brings Leadership and Extensive Experience to New Role

PHILADELPHIA – June 14, 2010 - The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker peace and social justice organization, today announced that Shan Cretin will be its next General Secretary, the executive head of the organization.   Shan will assume her duties this September.

In making the announcement, the Board of Directors expressed its unanimous approval of the appointment, stating their confidence in her “gifts of leadership, flexibility and strategic grasp.”

“I am excited and honored by the opportunity to serve AFSC’s dedicated staff and committed volunteers,” Shan says.   “Since 1917, the Service Committee’s worldwide programs have been a source of optimism and hope for communities beset by war, poverty, exploitation and discrimination.   In today’s world, the Service Committee’s distinctive approach, firmly rooted in the powerful tradition of nonviolent social change, is needed as much as ever before.”

Before this appointment, Shan has served as Director of the AFSC’s Pacific Southwest Region for seven years, responsible for programs in Southern California, Hawai’i, Arizona, and New Mexico.  Those programs focus on several key social issues, including immigrants’ rights, prison reform, food security, peace, and demilitarization. 

A member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Shan is a former clerk of Pacific Yearly Meeting, the regional body that includes Quaker meetings from California, Hawai’i, Mexico, and Guatemala.  She co-founded the Los Angeles chapter of Alternatives to Violence Project and has facilitated conflict resolution workshops at the Chino Youth Correctional Facility and in the Los Angeles community. She also serves on the board of directors of The California Endowment.

Although Los Angeles has been her home since 1975, Shan has lived, worked and traveled throughout the United States and many locations in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and Canada.   A graduate of MIT and Yale, Shan served on the faculties of Harvard, Yale, West China Medical University, Shanghai Medical University, and University of California at Los Angeles. 

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