CFC’s New Assistant Director for Community Partnerships Comes from United Nations
Reyna Anderson, MAFC ’15, brings United Nations relationship-building skills to her new role in the Center for Faith and Culture (CFC) at the University of St. Thomas-Houston. The warm and outgoing professional, who served as a legal fellow at the U.N., will be assistant director for community partnerships at the CFC. Anderson’s previous experience has her remarkably well-prepared.
“The U.N. was both exciting and challenging,” Anderson said. “I was a legal fellow for Alliance Defending Freedom International and the Holy See. Both are Christian organizations that uphold the sanctity of life across major international human rights institutions. I was privileged to work alongside distinguished attorneys and diplomats, who work tirelessly in pursuit of the common good.”
Anderson describes her new post at the CFC as “coming home” to the community that provided the formation necessary for encountering the cultural and social struggles in the international political arena. She explains her mission in the new role.
“The heart of this mission is ‘Ut Unum Sint,’ the desire to be one. The CFC seeks to engage civic society and ecumenical and interreligious groups to generate meaningful dialogue about our social and religious challenges. My vision is to promote a spirit of dialogue that transcends religion, political ideology, race, and socio-economic classes.”
With that mission in mind, she envisions fostering and creating new partnerships across the globe.
“The crux of this role is very similar to what I was doing at the U.N., which was creating strategic partnerships and strategies to promote an authentic worldview of life,” she stated. “Providentially, I am now at a Catholic university where I will have the opportunity to be creative and seek the Holy Spirit’s lead in where the impact in our community [at all levels] is most needed.”
She envisions promoting dialogue across all sectors of civic society and religious communities — “from the Turkish Dialogue Institute in Houston to the Interreligious and Ecumenical Dialogue Movement in Rome.”She hopes to bolster the international platform for St. Thomas “to be recognized for the hidden gem that it is.”
Her role originates from UST’s Nesti Center for Faith and Culture, which has a mission of facilitating dialogue and communicating the University’s values with others. The CFC also offers a Master of Arts in Faith and Culture.
Anderson said, “The CFC is a place where you learn to listen. You learn how to encounter others in their raw humanity. This changes the way you view God and yourself, which changes the way you view and treat others. And this understanding you can take with you to the ends of the earth.”
Anderson starts her new job on Feb. 28, 2022.