Experienced Innovator Takes Over the Helm at SCI

Oct 1, 2007

The Board of Trustees of the Seamen’s Church Institute of New York and New Jersey (SCI) has called the Rev. David M. Rider to be the organization’s ninth President and Executive Director. Rider succeeds the Rev. Dr. Jean R. Smith, who retires after 17 years of service.

“David’s experience as a senior manager of a multi-million dollar national church agency gives him the administrative credentials to lead SCI’s multi-faceted international and national programs and buildings in four states. We are impressed with his proven experience as an administrator, innovator, and pastor,” said George M. Isdale, Jr., Chairman, SCI’s Board of Trustees.

Rider comes to SCI after ten years with The Church Pension Group, where he served as Managing Trustee of the Episcopal Church Medical Trust and Senior Vice President (Claims) of The Church Insurance Company. Since 2001, Rider has served as interim leader of two large Episcopal Churches, Grace Church in New York City and St. Mark’s Church, New Canaan, CT.

“I am honored to lead this outstanding and venerable organization with such a diverse ministry to maritime communities in two major ports and our inland rivers. What other organization reaches back to the 19th century and today serves at street level in our evolving global economy?,” said Rider.

Already, Rider is getting his feet wet as he prepares to take the helm. He has visited ships in Port Newark, and in early October will attend an industry conference and visit SCI’s Houston and Paducah sites, meeting staff and stakeholders. “I have eaten lunch with crew on a Chinese-flagged ship, met staff from the Queen Mary II at SCI’s Hospitality Center in the Brooklyn Cruise Ship Terminal, and visited a crew unloading hundreds of new automobiles.” Rider continued.

“SCI embraces a crucial, three-fold mission to provide pastoral care to mariners, advocate for seafarers’ rights, and conduct maritime education,” he said. “I look forward to building on Jean Smith’s outstanding servant leadership and working with our dedicated board of trustees, our generous donors and professional staff, to take SCI to its next level of service to mariners.”

Rider brings decades of experience in chaplaincy ministry, along with advanced management training to his work at SCI. In addition to many years in parish pastoral ministry, he has been a hospital chaplain in Manhattan and a pastoral counselor in Washington, DC. While at The Church Pension Group, he completed The General Manager Program and additional training in non-profit management in the Executive Education division of Harvard Business School

Rider is married to Jacqueline Haines Rider. They have a son in college and another in high school. For 15 years, they have lived in Chappaqua, NY. A graduate of Carleton College, Rider holds three theological degrees and certificates from the Washington School of Psychiatry and Harvard Business School. As an Episcopal priest, he is canonically resident in the Diocese of New York.