Palestinian-American Quaker brings new leadership to 100-year old organization
PHILADELPHIA, PA (September 1, 2017) The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is pleased to announce that Joyce Ajlouny will begin her appointment as the organization’s next general secretary (effectively the executive director) on September 1, 2017. AFSC is a 100-year-old Quaker organization dedicated to peace and justice. The organization has offices throughout the U.S. and in 15 countries around the world, and accepted a Nobel Peace Prize in 1947.
"I am honored and humbled to accept this opportunity to help lead AFSC into its second century of working to achieve lasting peace through active nonviolence and the transforming power of love,” says Joyce Ajlouny. “I look forward to working with such a talented, passionate, and committed group of staff and volunteers."
Most recently Joyce served as the director of the Ramallah Friends School in Palestine, whose curriculum mixes traditional academics with conflict resolution, human rights, and nonviolence. Prior to her time at the school, she spent the 14 years in international development, working on minority and refugee rights, gender equality, economic development, and humanitarian support. She served as the country director for Palestine and Israel with Oxfam-Great Britain, chaired the Association of International Development Agencies there, and worked as a program officer and project manager at several United Nations agencies. Joyce holds a master’s degree in Organizational Management and Development from Fielding Graduate University in California.
“A transformative Quaker leader, Joyce brings to AFSC a depth of experience in strategic planning, financial and personnel management, fundraising, and communication spanning 27 years,” said AFSC’s board clerk Phil Lord. “We are delighted to have her join us.”
Rooted in her upbringing as a Palestinian-American Quaker, she has spent many years living both in Palestine and in the U.S. “Raised in the Quaker faith, I’ve known about AFSC since childhood,” said Joyce. “People around the world respect and admire AFSC for our principled commitment to peace and justice.”
Joyce replaces Shan Cretin, who served for seven years as the general secretary of AFSC. Under Shan’s leadership, AFSC enacted a strategic plan that focused much of the organization’s work on youth leadership opportunities and changing the narrative that justifies militarism and violence.
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The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action. Drawing on continuing spiritual insights and working with people of many backgrounds, we nurture the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social systems.