Harriett Jane Olson has served as chief executive officer of the United Methodist Women’s national administrative and policymaking arm since 2007. United Methodist Women is a nearly 800,000-member organization within the United Methodist Church in the United States.
United Methodist Women members give about $15 million a year for work with women, children and youth in the United States and around the world. UMW operates and/or owns the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City, a retirement home for deaconesses and missionaries in North Carolina, a publication and distribution network, and a series of mission education and leadership development events annually. Through these events and our connections around the world, UMW staff and members are inspired, prepared, encouraged and celebrated for their direct service and advocacy for justice.
A Harvard Law School graduate, Ms. Olson practiced real estate and environmental law (1983-96) at a N.J. law firm that is now part of Day, Pitney, before working for the church full-time. From 1996-2007, Ms. Olson was senior vice-president for publishing, editor for church school publications and United Methodist Church book editor at the United Methodist Publishing House in Nashville, TN.
Ms. Olson has a bachelor's degree from Houghton College in Houghton, N.Y., where she serves on the board of trustees.