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Presidential Search Committee nominates Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt for Unitarian Universalist Association President

Unitarian Universalist Association

Candidates may still run by petition

BOSTON — The Presidential Search Committee (PSC) of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has announced it has moved forward the nomination of the Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt for UUA President. The new president will assume a six-year office in summer 2023, replacing Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray, who was elected to the role in 2017.

Unitarian Universalists affirm the use of the democratic process within its congregations as part of its Seven Principles and use an electoral process for choosing UUA leadership. The PSC is charged with leading the UUA’s presidential nomination process, including evaluating candidates and nominating at least two nominees for the role. Applications closed on July 15th and from August through October, the PSC conducted interviews, engaged with applicants, and reviewed references. At the conclusion of its process, the PSC unanimously nominated two leaders to be candidates for President. One of those nominees declined the nomination. Candidates may still run by petition until February 1, 2023.

The committee sought input and advice from UUA staff and leadership, and a variety of UU identity-based, interest-based, and professional groups as part of the process. The PSC received applications from Unitarian Universalists who represented a range of experiences and talents, including ordained ministers and non-ordained leaders. The candidate pool was comprised of majority women and transgender/non-binary individuals, and a majority of people who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC).

“The President is the primary public and spiritual leader of Unitarian Universalism, as well as the UUA’s Chief Executive Officer. The member congregations of the UUA, through their delegates, elect the President to represent and lead the faith on a path to Beloved Community, in which people of diverse backgrounds, identities and theological beliefs can thrive,” said the committee in a statement. “The President must be committed to transparent, shared, and aspirational leadership, using their understanding of power and privilege to advance transformative faithful practices within the Association.”

Candidates may be directly nominated by petition from December 1, 2022, through February 1, 2023, in addition to those nominated by the PSC. Those running by petition will need to meet a standard in which 50 certified member congregations sign their petitions, including three congregations from five of the UUA’s regions. The petition process is a valid qualifying route that was successfully utilized in the 2017 campaign for UUA president.

Candidates for president will campaign for office in the winter/spring of 2023, and the winner will be elected by congregational delegates of the General Assembly. The new president will be announced at the 2023 General Assembly, which will be a multi-platform event held online and in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from June 21st through June 25th. The newly-elected president will take office no later than August 9, 2023.

More information on the Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt can be found at UU World and at the UUA website.


About the UUA:
The UUA is the central organization for the Unitarian Universalist (UU) religious movement in the United States. Our faith is diverse and inclusive and the UUA’s 1000+ member congregations are committed to Seven Principles that hold closely the worth and dignity of each person as sacred, the need for justice and compassion, the right to choose one’s own beliefs, and respect for the interdependent nature of all existence.

Suzanne Morse
Unitarian Universalist Association

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.

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