The Seamen’s Church Institute’s President & Executive Director, the Reverend David Rider, Announces 2020 Retirement

Jun 19, 2019

The Reverend David M. Rider, President & Executive Director of the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI), has notified SCI’s Board of Trustees that he intends to retire in 2020 after 12 years of service. As a result, SCI’s Board has commenced the search for the next leader of the 185 year-old Episcopal charitable organization that serves international seafarers and inland river mariners through pastoral care, maritime education, and legal advocacy. Rider, who has overseen SCI’s growth, development, and positive influence in his 12 years at the helm, has securely positioned SCI’s Board, staff, and donor community for a smooth and effective transition.

Bruce Paulsen, chairman of the Seamen’s Church Institute, commented, “David Rider has done a masterful job strengthening SCI’s activities and infrastructure. Under his watch, the mission of providing ministry support to seafarers visiting Port Newark and inland river mariners has grown in impact. He developed and modernized SCI’s valuable education arm in Houston and Paducah. Together with SCI’s Center for Seafarers’ Rights, his team worked with the US Coast Guard to secure shore leave access for seafarers calling in American ports. The Board and wider SCI community are immensely grateful to David.”

Under Rider’s leadership, SCI modernized its world-class simulator and training facilities in Paducah and Houston. These facilities and their outstanding staff now serve thousands of mariners annually. This education and safety initiative dovetailed perfectly with the work of SCI’s chaplains who support mariners on US inland rivers and their families, forging ever-closer relationships with the vital community that serves American and world trade. At the same time, Rider steered SCI through a comprehensive upgrade of its Port Newark International Seafarers’ Center, which provides hospitality to thousands of seafarers arriving at the East coast’s largest port each year.

Rider also oversaw the major Future of Mariners capital campaign to strengthen SCI’s long-term investments and sustain its mission for the next 185 years of service.

SCI’s Board, through a new Search Committee, will conduct a comprehensive selection process to identify Rider’s successor. Rider will continue his full responsibilities through the first or second quarter of 2020, allowing ample time for a successful search and candidate placement.

Craig Philip, Chairman of the Search Committee commented, “David Rider‘s shoes are large ones to fill, but throughout SCI‘s history new leaders have always stood on the shoulders of past giants. We’re excited about the process of identifying a leader with passion and vision for the mission, confident we will continue SCI’s tradition and serve the mariners of the future.“

SCI Honorary Chairman and Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, Andrew Dietsche, commented, “The role of the Seamen’s Church remains as important today as it was back in 1834. We are fortunate that today’s Board, our wonderful staff and our generous donor community remain committed to this dynamic mission. SCI’s Board and I will do everything in our power to ensure our future care of mariners. David Rider leaves us in shipshape condition, and we wish him fair winds and clear skies as he begins his retirement.”

Rider’s plans after retirement include continued service to the maritime community through pursuits in maritime mental health, suicide prevention, and maritime photography.

For further information, contact Nancy Van Epps at the Seamen’s Church Institute at (212) 349-1791 or [email protected].