Press Releases

ECDC Grieves the Loss of Richard Parkins, Former Director of Episcopal Migration Ministries

Arlington, VA – ECDC was saddened to learn that Richard Parkins passed away on September 1, 2019, after a battle with cancer. ECDC’s President, Tsehaye Teferra, Ph.D., staff, and the resettlement community remember Mr. Parkins as a champion of compassion and dignity for refugees and other displaced populations. Mr. Parkins led Episcopal Migration Ministries for 14 years before becoming the director of the American Friends of the Episcopal Church of Sudan. Through his work, he facilitated the resettlement of tens of thousands of people and enriched countless lives.

Mr. Parkins was described by his colleagues as “articulate, joyful, persistent and wise, a gracious colleague, [and] a steadfast friend.” Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. His message of hope and kindness towards the stranger will continue to live in those who knew and worked with him.


ECDC is one of nine resettlement agencies working in partnership with the Department of State and the Office of Refugee Resettlement to provide initial placement and support services to refugees being resettled in the United States. ECDC promotes cultural, educational and socio-economic development programs to assist refugees and immigrants in becoming productive members of their new homeland.