Rev. Dr. Jean Smith Appointed as Executive Director of SCI

Friday, December 06, 2002
The Rev. Dr. Jean Smith has been appointed Executive Director of the Seamen's Church Institute (SCI) of New York & New Jersey by its Board of Trustees at its December 5 meeting. On January 1, 2003 she will succeed the Rev. Canon Peter Larom who will become a special advisor to the Institute and other organizations. The first woman to lead the 169-year-old maritime institution, Dr. Smith will be responsible for the largest independent maritime-oriented non-profit in North America whose 2003 budget is over $6.5 million. The Seamen's Church Institute includes the Center for Seafarers' Services, which provides pastoral care in the Port of New York & New Jersey and along 2,200 miles of America's inland waterways; the Center for Maritime Education with simulator training centers in New York, Kentucky, and Texas; and the Center for Seafarers' Rights, which is internationally renowned for its legal advocacy work. "This venerable institution is no stranger to making maritime history," said George D. Benjamin Chairman of SCI's Board of Trustees. "Jean's proven leadership over the last 13 years will allow us to maintain our missions and respond to increasingly challenging times." With the Institute since 1990, Dr. Smith is SCI's Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer as well as its Director of the Center for Seafarers' Services. As such, she supervises a seafarers' center, an international training program, and an innovative inland maritime ministry that stretches from Pittsburgh to Houston. Dr. Smith is responsible for the International Seafarers' Center in Port Newark where she leads a ship visiting ministry of chaplains and volunteers who each year visit 90% of all vessels-more than 4,000 ships-that enter the Port of New York & New Jersey. In 1995, she became the founding director of the Institute's International Training for Workplace Ministry (ITC) program, which trains port chaplains from under-served ports around the world. In 1998, she facilitated the creation of the innovative Ministry on the River program, which provides pastoral services from Pittsburgh to New Orleans with the aid of three SCI chaplains, and over 100 ecumenical River Friendly Churches.

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