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Tony De La Rosa resigns as interim executive director of PMA

Tony De La Rosa

Tony De La Rosa

Tony De La Rosa, interim executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, has resigned, apparently effective immediately, and David D. Crittenden, a mid council executive, has been named to replace him as acting director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.

De La Rosa’s term had been scheduled to continue through November.

The Presbyterian Mission Agency Board met in closed session Sept. 13, and made the announcement several hours later, offering no reason for De La Rosa’s departure.

Ken Godshall, chair of the board, said in the news release: “We are very grateful for Tony’s service and dedication to the Presbyterian Mission Agency. We wish him the very best.”

Crittenden started work Sept. 14, and is expected to stay in that role for about three to five months, according to Godshall.

Crittenden, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) minister, currently serves as stated clerk of the Presbytery of Ohio Valley. He has extensive experience as a mid council executive and with the denomination – including having served as the PC(USA)’s director of stewardship from 2010 to 2013, as the transitional synod executive of the Synod of Lake and Prairies, and on the staff of the Synod of Lincoln Trials for 16 years, ten of them as co-executive.

David D. Crittenden

The executive committee of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board has held a series of closed-door meetings this summer – at least five since mid-July. In June, De La Rosa drew attention when he released a seven-page open letter to the Way Forward Commission – what he described as his personal responses to the commission’s work so far.

The leadership of the board responded with its own letter a week later, taking issue with some of De La Rosa’s conclusions, saying “he was hired to be the face and spokesperson for the PMA” and that he is not authorized to “unilaterally redirect PMA’s relationship with the Way Forward Commission” without discussing that with the board.

The board hired De La Rosa, a lawyer and elder, in September 2015, after Linda Valentine resigned as executive director. The board is now searching for a new executive director, using the search firm Boardwalk Consulting. More information on that search can be found here, including a leadership profile for that position.

De La Rosa did not immediately respond to a request from the Outlook for comment.