Rev. Addae Kraba, President, USA (term to 2021)

Rev. Addae Ama Kraba is an ordained Unitarian Universalist Minister, currently residing in Boerne, TX. She earned a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA. Rev. Kraba was the first person of color installed as minister to the First Universalist Church of Southold, Long Island, New York. She later served as Community Minister of First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, PA. Active at both district and denominational levels, Rev. Kraba was on the Association’s Committee on Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression and Multiculturalism, Trustee for the Joseph Priestly District, and Murray Grove Retreat and Conference Center in Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey. She served as Co-Convener of Unitarian Universalist Women and Religion and was on the planning committees of the first and third international U*U women’s convocations (Houston, TX, 2009 and Asilomar, CA, 2017). She currently serves the UU congregation of New Braunfels, Texas.

Karen Kortsch, Vice-President, USA (term to 2022)

Karen Kortsch is an active member of North Shore Unitarian Church in Deerfield, IL. A UU for the past 15 years, she has been a member of IWC since 2012 and a strong supporter of its mission to empower women worldwide. Karen is also active in several other organizations such as the American Association of University Women, National Organization for Women, and National Nurses United: all organizations working to advance gender equity. A registered nurse, Karen worked at Capt. James Lovell Federal Health Care Facility in Chicago, IL, with the mentally ill. In this capacity, she had first-hand experience on how gender inequality takes a toll on women and society in many ways, including mental health. In her new position as vice-president, Karen looks forward to making a meaningful contribution.

Geri Kennedy, Treasurer, USA, (term to 2021)gerikennedy

A UU for about 30 years, Geri Kennedy is a member of the UU Fellowship of Redwood City, CA.  Before her retirement in January 2018, she spent 25 years managing homeowners’ associations, partly in a company of her own. Moving to the banking world, Geri assisted associations in all aspects of their banking needs, including help with their reserve funding and loans when necessary. She got involved with the Pacific Central District’s Women and Religion Task Force in the early 90s, served as its co-convener for many years, and then its treasurer. Geri was also the UU Fellowship of Redwood City’s bookkeeper for about 15 years. She served on the boards of the Partner Church Council and UU Women & Religion; acting as the treasurer of UU Women & Religion, Geri helped them to obtain their 501(c3) status.

The Rev. Carol Huston, USA, Director (term to 2020)

The Rev. Huston lives in New York City and spends much of her energy on international women’s empowerment.  She brought a proposed Study/Action Issue on “Women’s Rights Worldwide” to General Assembly 2004.  When this SAI failed to be adopted two years in a row, she and others who had gathered around this proposal turned their energies to planning for the First International Women’s Convocation. Subsequently, she joined the board of IWC as it developed, and became the organization’s first treasurer, second president, vice-president, and chair of the Steering Committee for the Asilomar Convocation. In addition to IWC, Carol works with RESULTS, a group that lobbies Congress to put robust funding into global health, education, and microfinance initiatives, saving lives of women and children around the world. As a parish minister for 19 years, she served Community UU Congregation at White Plains, New York, and Paint Creek Congregation, in Rochester, Michigan.  She served on the Board of the UU Ministers Association, on the grants panel for the Fund for Unitarian Universalism, and on a wide variety of boards and committees for civic and justice organizations related to rights of women, children and disabled people.

Beth O'ConnellBeth O’Connell, France/USA (term to 2022)

Beth O’Connell is a journalist who has been living in Europe since 2002. Currently a member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Paris (UUFP), she is a former vice-president and remains engaged in social action. Beth is also involved in the European Unitarian Universalists (EUU), serving as liaison with and obtaining support for IWC. She participated in IWC’s pilgrimage to Bolivia in 2015 and the Asilomar Convocation in 2017. She looks forward to helping further the empowerment of women worldwide.

Krisztina Pap, Germany/Romania, Director (term to 2022)

Krisztina PallA biology teacher and project manager of a rural high school close to Székelyudvarhely/Târgu Secuiesc, Transylvania, Romania, Krisztina Pap is a grant writing and local development expert specializing in environmental protection and community development. She conducted numerous community capacity building workshops in Transylvanian Unitarian communities and was instrumental in the implementation of several developmental projects of the Nyikó Valley. Krisztina was a Global Sisters facilitator at the Houston Convocation, the coordinator of the Global Sisters Process at the Transylvania and the Asilomar Convocations, and has worked closely with IWC to implement grassroots empowerment projects ensuing from the Transylvania Convocation. She was a member of the organizing team of the Leadership School for Transylvanian women, and is a member of IWC’s Global Sisters Leadership Council. She currently lives in Germany with her family.

Ma. Elvira Peras-Sienes, the Philippines, Secretary (term to 2022)

Ms. Peras-Sienes works for the UU Church of the Philippines (UUCP). She studied at Silliman University Divinity School and was ordained a UUCP minister in 2005. Previously, she worked for the UUCP in various positions and then for three years for the NGO Tuburan for Rural Women Empowerment and Development, Inc. Tuburan means spring water, and the organization strives to empower rural, often disadvantaged women in Negros Oriental. Elvira (“Elvie”) says: “Now that I work full time with the Church again, I am excited about bringing my experiences to IWC and contributing to its growth. I am very much interested in women’s issues around the world.”

Elgiva Dora Shullai, India, Director (term to 2021)

Ms. Shullai is a registered nurse specializing in Surgical Nursing and served as an Officer with the prestigious Armed Forces Medical and Nursing Services until 2011. Now she is actively supporting philanthropic work and is the Global Sisters Coordinator for the Seng Kynthei Women’s Wing of the Unitarian Union of North East India. In this capacity, she has coordinated health camps, awareness programs, and very successful Global Sisters workshops in four Unitarian communities in Meghalaya. In 2015, she organized the launch of a White Ribbon campaign to eliminate violence against women and children in Unitarian communities in North East India. She has been a member of the IWC board since 2015.

Peg Swain, USA, Director (term to 2022)

Peg SwainPeg Swain was Co-Director of Religious Education at Jefferson UU Church in Golden, Colorado (1980s) before moving with her family to Davis, California, where she is an active member of the UU Church of Davis and its partner church outreach. A feminist anthropologist by trade, Peg taught at UC Davis, where she co-directed the Women’s Resources and Research Center and Gender and Global Issues, a program begun in the 1990s with Ford Foundation support for international women activists from environmental, reproductive, and social justice movements to participate in an annual seminar. Her anthropological research focused on indigenous women involved in tourism development in Panama and Southwest China and gender inequalities in tourism. Now retired, Peg continues mentoring, traveling, researching, and writing, and is happy to connect with IWC and UU global sisters. She was actively involved with the 2017 Asilomar Convocation, serving as Health and Reproductive Stream Chair.

Zsófia Sztranyiczki Kolozsvár (Transylvania) / Houston, TX
Executive Director
Zsofi Sztranyiczki

Dr. Zsófia Sztranyiczki, a Unitarian from Transylvania now living half the year in Houston, TX, holds a PhD in Linguistics, and has taught ESL at Rice University. She and her American husband operate a tour company specializing in music and art, which offers ample opportunity for travel. As a former member of First Church Kolozsvár, she became involved in the partner church movement and served on the Partner Church Committee;  subsequently, she was the lead facilitator of community capacity building workshops conducted by the UU Partner Church Council in small Transylvanian communities. Zsófi was involved in the planning and execution of the 2009 Houston Convocation, providing key communications and visa, travel, and financial management for participants from outside U.S. She served on the 2012 Transylvania Convocation organizing committee and was very active in the planning and execution of the event. She has been the part-time executive director of IWC since 2013.  In addition to Hungarian, Romanian, and English, she speaks French, Italian, and Finnish. She believes that empowering women to participate in economy, leadership, political decision-making, and education is the key to the long-term growth, security, and peace of the world.

Laura Nagel, Founding Executive DirectorNagel

Laura Nagel was the administrator of the 2009 Houston Convocation and is founding executive director of the International Convocation of UU Women (dba IWC). She is a past president of Southwest UU Women and past co-convener of UU Women and Religion. Laura has served as president of the First Jefferson UU Church in Fort Worth, TX, and as fundraising consultant for the UUA. She is presently on the board of directors of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Monterey Peninsula. In 2004, she began doing international work through the UU Partner Church Council and was instrumental in conducting the first community capacity building program in Árkos, Transylvania. Laura is committed to the Global Sisters Process, a grassroots democratic planning process that has been a foundational element of IWC gatherings and convocations and for setting organizational priorities. She and her husband Harry have traveled extensively through IWC’s trips abroad to meet and work with U*U women in Romania, Philippines, India, and Bolivia. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs and Policy Analysis from the New School for Social Research.