Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry announced the appointment of Mary E. Kostel, Esquire, of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, as Chancellor to the Presiding Bishop as of January 1 of this year. She is the fourth person to hold this canonical position since it was created in the 1970s. She succeeds David Booth Beers, Esquire, also of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, who has served as Chancellor since 1991.
Ms. Kostel, a life-long Episcopalian raised in southwestern Virginia, is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Virginia School of Law where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. After two federal judicial clerkships, she served in the U.S. Department of Justice and practiced law in Washington firms, where she represented The Episcopal Church in various matters. She was appointed in 2009 by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori as Special Counsel for the Church’s “property” litigation and disciplinary matters. Ms. Kostel continued in that role for Presiding Bishop Curry until her present appointment. She recently resigned as Chancellor of the Diocese of Washington where she had served for eleven years.
Ms. Kostel is married to Gregory DiMeglio, also a practicing lawyer, and has two sons. She worships at St. Alban’s Parish in Washington, D.C., and is also a Trustee of the Virginia Theological Seminary.
Presiding Bishop Curry said in announcing Ms. Kostel’s appointment, “Mary has used her extraordinary gifts in service to the Church for over a dozen years under two Presiding Bishops and has become a close confidant and advisor to me since I took office. I am indeed grateful she has agreed to serve with me in the coming years.”
Mr. Beers, also a life-long Episcopalian, was raised in Connecticut and educated at Trinity College and the University of California at Berkeley before entering private law practice in Washington, D.C., in 1961. He is now Of Counsel of the Goodwin Law Firm in that city. After serving as Chancellor of the Diocese of Washington from 1977 until 1991, he was appointed in that year as Chancellor to the Presiding Bishop by Bishop Edmond L. Browning, and thus served four Presiding Bishops. Prior to that appointment, Mr. Beers was a five-time Deputy to the General Convention and served one term on the Executive Council. He is also a Trustee of the Virginia Theological Seminary, which recently honored him with the Dean’s Cross for Servant Leadership. Presiding Bishop Curry expressed his “profound appreciation for David’s exemplary service to the Church.”
As stated in Canon 1.2.5, “The Presiding Bishop may appoint, as Chancellor to the Presiding Bishop, a confirmed adult communicant of the Church in good standing who is learned in both ecclesiastical and secular law, to serve so long as the Presiding Bishop may desire, as counselor in matters relating to the office and the discharge of the responsibilities of that office.”