Jan Naylor Cope appointed provost of Washington National Cathedral

Posted Apr 10, 2015

[Washington National Cathedral press release] The Rev. Canon Jan Naylor Cope, whose pre-seminary career included stints at the National Endowment for the Arts and at the White House, has been named provost of Washington National Cathedral.

Cope, whose appointment was announced by Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde and Dean Gary Hall, has served as vicar of the Cathedral since October 2010, and the congregation has grown by more than 500 members under her leadership.

“Jan Cope combines a devotion to the Gospel of Jesus with an understanding of how complex organizations function and flourish,” Budde said. “As a pastor and in her previous careers, she has manifested a talent for making friends, building networks and extending Christian hospitality to all. These gifts will serve her well in her new position.”

As provost, Cope will oversee the cathedral’s development department, assist Hall in identifying, cultivating and soliciting major donors and work closely with the cathedral’s leadership on its strategic vision, ministry and mission.

“Canon Cope brings vision, commitment, and deep faithfulness to all areas of her ministry and especially to her service at the cathedral,” Hall said. “She is well-known in Episcopal Church, Anglican Communion, and Washington, D.C. circles.  Her extensive network of church, professional, and personal connections will be invaluable in her new work.”

Cope, who worked as a development officer for the National Endowment for the Arts from 1983-87, became deputy assistant to President George H. W. Bush and deputy director of presidential personnel in 1989. After leaving the White House in 1993, she founded an executive search firm that she maintained until her ordination in 2007.

“I am humbled by the confidence that the bishop and dean have expressed in me, and I am excited to take on this new responsibility,” Cope said. “Part of my excitement comes from the myriad ways in which people encounter God here—through our worship, music, community, art and architecture, programming and service to others. The cathedral’s potential for touching and transforming lives through an experience of God is enormous.”

Cope is first vice president of the Compass Rose Society, an international organization that supports the ministry of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Communion. She holds a Masters of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D. C., and a Doctor of Ministry from Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia.

A former trustee of both the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Washington Theological Consortium, she currently serves on the board of Wesley Theological Seminary.

Cope will be the keynote speaker at the triennial meeting of Episcopal Church Women in Salt Lake City in June. The gathering coincides with the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, at which Cope will serve as a clergy deputy from the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.