The National Council of Churches is pleased to announce the hiring of Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland-Tune as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer. Copeland-Tune begins this newly created position on June 10th. She brings a wealth of experience and wisdom to the Council.
One of America’s notable ecumenical leaders, Copeland-Tune is a tireless advocate for justice. Ordained into the Gospel ministry nearly 20 years ago, Copeland-Tune has worked for a number of faith-based organizations. She comes to the NCC after having served as the director of the Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice, a national conference that brings 1,000 faith advocates from across the country to the nation’s capital each year, and as Minister of Congregational Life for Clifton Park Baptist Church in Silver Spring, Md. She is also an associate minister of Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Va.
In the 2000s, Rev. Dr. Copeland-Tune was the NCC’s Assistant Director for Justice and Advocacy. In that role, she staffed NCC’s Special Commission for the Just Rebuilding of the Gulf Coast. She distinguished herself in 2018 serving as the Director of Mobilization for the NCC’s “A.C.T. Now to End Racism” events. In the fall of 2018, she was given the President’s Award for Excellence in Faithful Leadership at the NCC’s Christian Unity Gathering.
Dr. Copeland-Tune has held numerous other positions of importance in the ecumenical movement including that of director for the Ecumenical Poverty Initiative, an anti-poverty ministry which adds a prophetic voice and collective action to the fight to end poverty. She has also been a consultant for the Conference of National Black Churches and Faith in Public Life, a DC-based advocacy group. She is also actively involved with Grace and Race Ministries and the One America Movement, organizations that are working toward racial understanding and reconciliation.
“We are very fortunate to have Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland Tune join our staff,” said Jim Winkler, President and General Secretary of the National Council of Churches. “Leslie is one of the most effective ecumenists in our circles. She comes to this role with the right set of expertise and experiences.”
As Chief Operating Officer, she will assume many key roles within the organization to carry out the management, strategic and administrative functions of the Council, including developing, implementing and administering the operational aspects of the office, serving as Human Resources Director, and playing a vital role in advancing the NCC’s racial justice efforts.
She will provide leadership to the NCC strategic planning process and lead the implementation of the annual Christian Unity Gathering. She will also serve as a liaison to NCC partners and will work with NCC President/General Secretary on programmatic strategies and challenges.
“I am excited about returning to the National Council of Churches in this new role as Chief Operating Officer. NCC’s history of faithful public witness and fostering theological understanding and ecumenical relationships across a wide spectrum of Christian denominations is unmatched,” said Dr. Copeland-Tune. “I look forward to lending my gifts, skills and expertise to continue this great legacy and to help strengthen and advance NCC’s role as the leader in ecumenical witness and as a voice for peace and justice in our nation and around the world,” said Dr. Copeland-Tune of her new position.
Rev. Dr. Copeland-Tune was born and raised in Mt. Vernon, New York. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland with a concentration in marketing, and a Master of Theological Studies from Duke University. She also has a doctorate in metro-urban ministry from New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Brunswick, New Jersey and studied at Oxford University in their Summer Theology Programme.