Jillian Abballe has joined the Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations as advocacy officer and head of the New York office.
Abballe has extensive experience at the United Nations in New York and joins the Anglican Communion from a similar position with the World Council of Churches. Her appointment will support a new strategy for the work, under the leadership of Jack Palmer-White, the Anglican Communion’s representative to the United Nations.
Palmer-White is based at the Anglican Communion Office in London and leads the Communion’s work across the U.N.’s offices in New York, Geneva, and Nairobi. Abballe will lead a small staff in New York.
“I am delighted to welcome Jillian to the team,” Palmer-White said. “Her appointment comes as a very exciting time for the Anglican Communion’s engagement with the United Nations, and the skills and experience she brings to this work will play a very important part in increasing the Communion’s visibility and credibility with key U.N. partners.”
Abballe said that she would strive to ensure that world leaders understand the experience of grassroots work by churches throughout the world.
“Churches are doing incredible work at the grassroots, usually life-saving work and life-sustaining work,” she said. “And this work is happening before, during, and after crises. … Churches are in communities and will continue to be in communities.”
She described the Anglican Communion’s advocacy as “our opportunity to be able to connect what is happening so that we are informing policies that are happening at the international level. When governments are enacting them or using them as frameworks for their own policies, they can be informed by the experience of Anglicans in other communities that are doing the work.”
Jillian Abballe grew up in rural northeastern Pennsylvania before moving to the Bronx in New York 10 years ago. She has an undergraduate degree in international political economy and humanitarian affairs, and is engaged in graduate study of global affairs.
The Anglican Communion’s advocacy at the U.N. centers on eight categories:
- migration, refugees and displacement;
- birth registration and statelessness;
- women’s rights;
- global health;
- the environment;
- indigenous rights;
- human rights accountability;
- sustainable development goals.
Adapted from ACNS