Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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About our Speakers

Paul Faeth, Senior Fellow, CNA Corp., has been concerned with issues of water, food security and climate change over a period of 25 years. At CNA Corp., he is developing a program focused on water and national security addressing two related issues: (i) the interdependencies between water and energy in the U.S. and policy options for managing growing demands for energy supplies that are climate friendly and mindful of water resource constraints; and (ii) the effects of water resource constraints and climate change on the stability of developing countries, particularly in Africa, and possible strategies for adaptation to mitigate the effects of climate change. Prior to joining CNA Corp., Paul was President of the Global Water Challenge, and a Managing Director of the World Resources Institute. Paul earned an agricultural engineering degree at Florida State University and earned a Master of Science degree in environmental policy at Dartmouth.

Charles “Chip” Jones, Northern Neck Land Conservancy and Union First Market Bank, is a member of the Board of the Northern Neck Land Conservancy, Vice Chair of the Northern Neck Soil and Water District Board, and a commercial loan officer involved in agricultural lending. He is a frequent speaker on means to protect farmland and open space through grants of easements, estate planning, and other financial management strategies. He is a Gulf War veteran and graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in agricultural and applied economics.

Dennis Treacy, Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, Smithfield Foods, leads Smithfield Foods’ corporate affairs function, and also oversees the company’s sustainability initiatives. Under his leadership, Smithfield Foods has earned a reputation as a leader and innovator in sustainability, receiving recognition from Fortune Magazine, McDonald’s Corp. and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, among others. Smithfield Foods was the first company in its industry to achieve ISO 14001 certification of its Environmental Management System for its U.S. hog production and pork processing facilities. In addition, the company’s approach to animal care has been acclaimed by Temple Grandin, the well-known authority on animal care and handling. Prior to joining Smithfield Foods, Dennis was director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, as well as assistant attorney general in the natural resources section of the Virginia Attorney General’s office. He is the 2010 “Distinguished Environmental Law Graduate” from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon where he graduated in 1983. He completed his undergraduate degree in Fisheries and Wildlife at Virginia Tech in 1978.

The Rev. Margaret Ann Faeth is the retired rector of Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill in Alexandria, Virginia and a member of the adjunct faculty at Virginia Theological Seminary, where she teaches in the Master's and Doctoral programs.  She is the author of the Episcopal Leadership Institute curriculum and the Chair of the Committee on Leadership Formation in the Diocese of Virginia. In the larger Church, she is on the Curriculum Committee for the College for Bishops and serves as a leadership instructor for Living Our Vows - the formation program for new bishops. Dr. Faeth earned an MBA from Mary Washington College, a Master's in Divinity from the Virginia Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.  She completed additional post-graduate study in theology at Wadham College, Oxford and is a graduate of the Leadership Educator's Program at Harvard.

Dominic Barrett, Executive Director, Shalom Farms. Shalom Farms is a 6-acre farm in Goochland, Virginia, founded in 2008 by Richmond United Methodist Urban Ministries with the mission of making healthy food available in underserved areas of Richmond and increasing the self-sufficiency and resilience of those living in underserved communities.  With assistance from church and community volunteers, the farm produced 35,000 pounds of fresh produce from broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes and cucumbers to squash, watermelon, potatoes and collard greens during the 2011 crop year. Barrett is a native of Lynchburg, Virginia.

Elizabeth Ransom, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Richmond. Dr. Ransom’s research interests are in the areas of international development and globalization, the sociology of agriculture and food, and social studies of science and technology.  Her recent research has focused on the linkages between Southern African (South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia) red meat industries and global food systems.  Previously, Dr. Ransom was an AAAS Fellow and worked as an International Trade Specialist in the Foreign Agricultural Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Other areas of Dr. Ransom’s research have included agricultural biotechnologies, the patterns and problems surrounding modern food consumption practices, and the impact of Codex Alimentarius standards on U.S. agricultural products.  She also teaches courses within these areas of interest including, Feast & Famine: Inequalities in the Global Food System, Deciphering a Meal: Analyzing Our Global Food System, and Social Studies of Science and Technology.  Some of her recent publications have appeared in the Journal of Rural Studies, Gender & Society, Rural Sociology, and International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food.  Dr. Ransom received her doctorate in Sociology from Michigan State University.

The Rev. Pat Watkins is Executive Director of Caretakers of God's Creation, a United Methodist Church and Community Ministry. Its mission is to challenge, empower, and equip United Methodist Churches in Virginia and elsewhere make a connection between Christian faith and responsibility to care for and heal God's creation. His appointment as full time Executive Director was the first time that the denomination assigned one of its domestic missionaries to a position focused on climate and ecological issues. Prior to his appointment, Pat was executive director of Virginia Interfaith Power and Light. Watkins was ordained an elder in the Virginia Conference in 1990 and has served as a pastor in the Conference. Pat and his wife, the Rev. J. Denise Honeycutt, Virginia Conference director of Mission and Global Outreach, served as missionaries in Nigeria from 1995-1998 and as Mission Interpreters in Residence for the Southeastern Jurisdiction from 1999-2002. A native of North Carolina, Watkins attended N.C. State University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He earned his Master of Divinity from Duke University and earned a master’s in Environmental Science with an emphasis on theology at Virginia Commonwealth University.