FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C.—After serving ten years as Pax Christi USA’s Executive Director, Dave Robinson will be stepping down from the position and beginning a sabbatical on July 31, 2011. Robinson has worked for Pax Christi USA for two decades, beginning his service at the time of the 1991 Gulf War and completing his tenth year as Executive Director—the longest tenure of any of PCUSA’s previous directors—this month.
“It is with gratitude that we celebrate and thank Dave for all that he has given in service of the mission of Pax Christi USA,” stated Bishop Gabino Zavala, Pax Christi USA’s Bishop-President. “Dave’s commitment over the years has helped to shape and define who we are as a movement in the world today.”
Robinson took over the leadership of Pax Christi USA just weeks before the events of September 11, 2001, and his vision for how the organization would engage the world was formed in the crucible of those first days as director. Robinson articulated Pax Christi USA’s commitment to reconciliation and nonviolence in the face of political forces mobilizing to use the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon as excuses for a foreign policy built on the doctrine of pre-emptive war, the justification of torture, and the stifling of dissent at home. In March 2003, on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, Robinson led the effort to organize religious leaders for civil disobedience at the White House, resulting in over 60 prominent clergy and religious being arrested. In the immediate aftermath, Robinson would join Rev. Jesse Jackson and United Methodist Bishop Joseph Sprague in meeting with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to call for a peaceful alternative to the U.S.-led invasion.
“Dave’s experience and determination enabled Pax Christi USA to speak critically and prophetically in response to the Bush Administration’s policies in the wake of 9-11 and leading up to the war inIraq,” said Sr. Josie Chrosniak, HM, Chair of Pax Christi USA’s National Council. “Because of this, Pax Christi USA responded quickly and eloquently, correctly calling the 9-11 attacks ‘crimes against humanity’ instead of ‘acts of war’ and attempting to influence the U.S. response to our grief toward healing and peace instead of fear and revenge.”
Other highlights of Robinson’s time in leadership include the implementation of Brothers and Sisters All, a twenty-year plan to transform Pax Christi USA into an anti-racist, multicultural Catholic movement for peace and justice; the hosting of the Triennial World Assembly of Pax Christi International, with representation of over 50 nations at Seton Hall University in New Jersey; the creation of the People’s Peace Initiative, a multi-year effort of 21 national Catholic organizations to reflect on peace which resulted in a document articulating a vision of peace from ordinary Catholics in the pews; and the opening of Pax Christi USA’s first policy office in Washington, D.C.
Robinson also frequently traveled to areas of conflict in the world, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Iran. His travels helped to build relationships of solidarity with oppressed people as well as sections of Pax Christi throughout the world. “The entire Pax Christi community—including colleagues and friends in the Pax Christi International network—will miss Dave,” said Marie Dennis, Co-President of Pax Christi International. “We are grateful for his lifelong commitment to disarmament and his passion for peace for all of the human family.”
The Pax Christi USA National Council will honor Robinson at a special gathering on Monday, July 18 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Pax Christi USA office located at the Center of Concern at 1225 Otis Street NE in Washington, D.C. Friends, partners, and Pax Christi USA members are invited to attend and join in wishing Robinson well as he moves into a new phase of working for peace and reconciliation.
For more information, contact Sr. Josie Chrosniak, HM at email@example.com or call the office at 202-635-2741.