Charles Colson, chief counsel for President Richard Nixon, has been a central figure in the evangelical Christian community ever since he shocked the Washington establishment in 1973 by revealing his new Christian commitment in the midst of the Watergate inquiry. In 1974 he pled guilty to obstruction of justice and entered Maxwell Federal Prison Camp in Alabama, where he served seven months. He emerged from prison with a new mission—to minister to prisoners, based on his belief that the real solution to crime is found through spiritual renewal.
Colson founded Prison Fellowship in the U.S. in 1976, and expanded internationally three years later. Today, Prison Fellowship International works in 120 countries around the world, and is the largest association of national Christian ministries working within the criminal justice field.
In recognition for his work, Colson received the prestigious Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion (1993), the Presidential Citizens Medal (2008), The Others Award from the Salvation Army (1990), and several honorary doctorates (1982-1995). He wrote more than 30 books which have sold more than five million copies.
In 2012, Colson passed away at age 80, working faithfully in prison ministry and justice reform even in his final days. He is survived by Patty, his wife of 48 years, and their three children and five grandchildren.
Frank Lofaro is a highly-regarded business executive, bringing more than 30 years of leadership experience to Prison Fellowship International from both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. After serving as president and CEO of the Christian Leadership Alliance from 2006 to 2011, Frank returned to Prison Fellowship International in 2012 as COO to oversee all aspects of the organization’s planning, development, and operations, and in 2014 he was named CEO.
Frank has been involved with Prison Fellowship for more than 20 years. In 1993, he joined Prison Fellowship International as executive director, and successfully launched new ministry programs that are still used worldwide. In 1999, Frank served as Prison Fellowship USA’s senior vice president of programs, developing the first biblically-based corrections program, InnerChange Freedom Initiative, among other innovative programs.
In 2002, Frank served as the director of the National Resource Centre for Compassion Capital Fund, a U.S. government initiative to increase the scale and effectiveness of faith-based and community organizations. Earlier in his career, he built and sold a large lock manufacturing company and also owned several successful restaurants. Frank received a bachelor’s in economics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his MBA from Long Island University. He also studied law at St. John’s Law School in New York.
Daniel Van Ness is one of the world’s leading experts on restorative justice. He has been involved with Prison Fellowship for over 30 years, and began Prison Fellowship International’s Centre for Justice & Reconciliation. Dan led the design of the Sycamore Tree Project®, a victim-offender awareness program now running in prisons in 34 countries. He also led a coalition of NGOs that drafted and successfully lobbied for adoption by the United Nations the Basic Principles on the Use of Restorative Justice Programs in Criminal Matters. Dan has authored and edited several books, including Restoring Justice: An Introduction to Restorative Justice. He holds a JD from the DePaul University College of Law and a master’s of law degree from Georgetown University. In 2013, Dan received the John W. Byrd Pioneer Award for Community and Restorative Justice from the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice.
With more than 30 years experience leading global programs, operations, strategic marketing, and fundraising, Raveendran (Ravi) Rao joined Prison Fellowship International in 2014 to oversee the field ministry in more than 125 countries. From 1991 to 2012, Ravi served in numerous capacities leading programs and managing field and fundraising operations at World Vision, both in the United States and in the Asia Pacific region. He helped launch several successful multimillion-dollar fundraising and direct response marketing initiatives targeted to increase donor acquisitions and church engagement through child sponsorship programs. Ravi holds a master of divinity in major world religion from Serampore University, India; an MBA from the National University of Singapore; and a PhD in leadership and management from Trinity College, Indiana.
Wendy Roldan, CPA, brings nearly two decades of nonprofit accounting experience to Prison Fellowship International. Wendy worked as tax manager for Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman in Bethesda, Maryland, for more than seven years, where she provided consulting and tax compliance services to nonprofit and charitable organizations, and assisted the firm’s leadership with strategic planning for the nonprofit tax group. She also served as controller for The Center to Protect Workers’ Rights (CPWR), and managed the nonprofit tax solutions group for the mid-Atlantic region of RSM McGladrey Inc. Wendy graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s in accounting, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Greater Washington Society of CPAs.
Hugh Greathead, Senior Regional Director, Europe (Germany)
Dorestela Medina, Regional Director, Latin America (Nicaragua)
Enocent Silwamba, Regional Director, Anglophone Africa (Zambia)
Samuel N’tcho, Regional Director, Francophone Africa (Ivory Coast)
Roy Moussalli, Regional Director, Middle East (Lebanon)
Adam Hutchinson, International Director, Children of Prisoners Program (Cambodia)
Penny Gonnay, Regional Director, Asia / Pacific (Cambodia)
David Williams, Regional Director, Caribbean (Bahamas)
(L-R) Penny Gonnay, Nikolai Georgiev, Enocent Silwamba, Adam Hutchinson, Ravi Rao, Hugh Greathead, Samuel N’tcho, Dorestela Medina, Roy Moussalli, Olga Clarke (former interim regional director, Caribbean)
Ron Nikkel served as president of Prison Fellowship International from 1982 to 2013. During his tenure, he expanded the organization’s affiliates from 5 to 125 countries, and visited over 1,000 prisons, holding the distinction of having been in more prisons in more countries than any other person. Considered a preeminent voice for justice that leads to restoration and reconciliation, Ron is often called on to consult and speak on such issues. Ron is the author of Your Journey with Jesus (2006) and Radical Love in a Broken World (2011), and holds a bachelor’s in psychology and English and a graduate degree in theology.
While serving as president and CEO of Prison Fellowship Ministries, Gordon Loux was asked by Prison Fellowship Founder Chuck Colson to share his vision of expanding the ministry beyond the United States. Gordon then served as the first president of Prison Fellowship International, witnessing firsthand the worldwide impact this ministry to prisoners and their families would soon have. Gordon is the author of Uncommon Courage (1987), the story of the work God is performing inside the walls of many of the world’s darkest prisons. He holds a master of divinity from Northern Baptist Seminary and a master’s from National College of Education.
Ian Elliott, Chair, Tokoroa, New Zealand
Ida Drameh, Vice Chair, Banjul, The Gambia
Andy Corley, Treasurer, Derbyshire, United Kingdom
Charles Cofie, Secretary, Accra, Ghana
Lacides Hernandez, Medellín, Colombia
Jack Kiervin, Toronto, Canada
Frank Lofaro, Washington, DC, USA
Tom McCabe, Frisco, Texas, USA
Tom McCallie, Chattanooga, TN, USA
Bob Milligan, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
Greg Pennoyer, Vancouver, Canada
Symphorien TOÏ, Cotonou, Benin
Marcus Witzke, Stuttgart, Germany