Rev. Al Sharp named Acting Executive Director of CRS

We have some great news to share with you!

CRS is pleased to announce that Rev. Alexander Sharp has been named the Acting Executive Director of Community Renewal Society (CRS) while we continue our national search for a permanent Executive Director. Rev. Sharp comes to CRS with a long and distinguished history of work with faith-based progressive organizations.  He is best known for  serving as the founding Executive Director of Protestants for the Common Good (PCG) from May 1996 through June 2012.  Protestants for the Common Good  is an Illinois faith-based education and advocacy organization that is in the final stages of merging with CRS. Rev. Sharp was instrumental in bringing together the well regarded policy work of Protestants for the Common Good with the organizing and publication strengths of Community Renewal Society.

Rev. Barbara Bolsen, CRS Board President, said “we’ve finished some important transitional work at CRS, including the merger with PCG, and we’re very excited that Al Sharp will lead us during our search process. He is passionate about our mission, and he brings the leadership and vision we need right now to move forward. The Board and staff also want to express our deep appreciation to Pat O’Connell, our Transitional Managing Director, for all that she has done to lead CRS to this next exciting stage.”

Pat said, “I am so pleased that Al Sharp, with whom I have worked closely, will continue to move CRS forward, with the support of the board and staff of CRS. I am stepping down from my position at CRS to continue my transitional consulting work with other organizations, and I do so knowing that the work of CRS is in extremely good hands.”

Rev. Sharp graduated from the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, with a Masters of Public Affairs in 1969; received his Masters of Divinity Degree from the Divinity School of the University of Chicago in 1996; and was ordained in the United Church of Christ in January 2007.  In addition to his work at PCG, Al served as Commissioner of the Department of Public Welfare during the first term of Governor Michael Dukakis from 1975-79 and in 1980 was appointed the chief financial officer of the University of Chicago.  Rev. Sharp is a member of the Executive Committee of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, of which he was a founding board member in 1980.  He also serves on the Executive Committee of the  Center for Budget and Tax Accountability, an Illinois public policy think tank; and is a board member of CHANGE Illinois, a coalition created to fight political corruption  in Illinois.  He is a member of Hyde Park Union Church in Chicago, where he serves on the Mission and Social Concerns Committee.