October 17, 2009
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) has named Deborah Fikes an Executive Advisor, a new position within the global ministry.
According to Fikes, the main task of this position is to assist the global evangelical body by becoming better informed, more visible and engaged, particularly in the U.S.
Mrs. Fikes, who currently serves as a board member of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) and advisory board member for Harvard University's Center for Health and Global Environment, has a background in environmental and human rights issues. She hopes that her knowledge and experience will help her contribute to the WEA constituency and furthermore, the worldwide Christian community, through this new position.
“My hope would be that continued focus on environmental issues will help in WEA's priority of international engagement to serve the poor,” said Fikes. “Because environmental concerns impact the poor and the poor have the least means to adapt. I also hope to enhance WEA's great interest and strategic position to promote peace and reconciliation in some of the most difficult regions of the world.
“My experience has helped me conclude that in promoting human rights, humbly listening first, seeking positive outreach efforts that follow Christ's teachings/ sharing the good news of His love and grace is much more effective than taking an adversarial stance. Evangelicals, particularly the younger generations are seeking ways to positively impact the world in advancing human rights and environmental issues. I hope to help WEA lead the way in providing opportunities for servant leadership that can achieve such goals while also being a positive witness for Christ,” she added.
“A priority for me personally is women's issues,” said Fikes, who was named by Concerned Women of America as an Evangelical Woman of the Year in 2005. “I am very inspired as I read the Gospel accounts of Christ's positive interaction with women in His earthly ministry. His concern for their dignity, spiritual and physical health, and emotional well-being was revolutionary and culturally, very controversial. This has served as motivation for me to become involved in the initiative to eradicate the child-birth injury known as fistulae (which severely harms women who must live with this condition that can be corrected surgically for a small cost). I hope to help WEA constituents become better educated and involved in this effort because it parallels so beautifully with the Gospel account of Jesus and the unclean woman He healed.”
Deborah has also been involved with outreach efforts to North Korea, serves as a Special Advisor to South Korean Governor Kim Moon-Soo and is a member of the editorial board for The China Law and Religion Monitor.
Fikes completed an undergraduate degree from Texas A &M University and a master’s degree from the University of Texas. She is completing a law degree and was recently accepted as a graduate degree candidate in International Human Rights Law at Oxford University.
“I am delighted that Deborah has joined our team”, said Geoff Tunnicliffe, International Director for the WEA. “She brings great passion, wisdom and insight into this new role. I have very much appreciated her humble spirit along with the tenacity to help make a difference in key Kingdom issues. The work of WEA will be enriched by her involvement.”