New General Secretary Named


Christie Duncan-Tessmer appointed to succeed Arthur M. Larrabee as General Secretary

Interim Meeting today approved the recommendation of the General Secretary Search Committee to appoint Christie Duncan-Tessmer as our new General Secretary effective August 25, 2014 upon the retirement of Arthur M. Larrabee.

Download information about our new General Secretary

Following a thorough and extensive discernment process over eight months, gathering input from members and meetings and considering and interviewing a number of applicants, the General Secretary Search Committee united on its recommended choice. The search process, approved by Interim Meeting, was confidential as were all candidate inquiries and applications. The committee expressed its confidence that Christie is the right person “to move our community forward together in the Light”.

Christie has served as the Associate Secretary for Program and Religious Life for PYM since 2008 and was the Children’s Religious Education Coordinator from 2005 to 2008. Prior to her tenure with PYM, she held positions at Friends General Conference and Newtown Friends School as well as leadership roles at several Delaware Valley social service nonprofit organizations.

Christie looks forward to assuming the administration of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, which “is ready to trust the solid foundation we have built in recent years, to trust in the Spirit and to leap into new space where the vitality and potential among us can find new expression.” She envisions “an integrated, deliberate approach to our corporate work and life as opposed to a string of programs and resources.” She wants members to experience a “large vibrant community manifesting Truth and Spirit.”

A native of Canton, OH, she is a graduate of Ohio University with a degree in Psychology and studied in the doctoral program in Clinical Human Development at Bryn Mawr College. She is married to Zach Duncan-Tessmer and has two children, Moxie and Ezra. She and her family reside in the East Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia.

The General Secretary is the chief administrator of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, responsible for executive leadership and oversight of all staff operations, and for the support and integration of all PYM projects, services, and activities.  Ms. Duncan-Tessmer will succeed Arthur M. Larrabee, the retiring General Secretary, on August 25, 2014.