The Rt. Rev. Canon Paula E. Clark was elected on December 12, 2020 and ordained and consecrated on September 17, 2022 as the Thirteenth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. She leads more than 30,000 Episcopalians in 122 congregations across northern and west central Illinois, and is the first Black person and the first woman to serve as diocesan bishop.
Clark was baptized into the Episcopal Church at age 10 by Bishop John Walker, the first Black dean of Washington National Cathedral and first Black bishop of the Diocese of Washington. She received her undergraduate education at Brown University and earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
Before entering seminary, Clark served as a public information officer for the Office of the Mayor and the District of Columbia’s Board of Parole for nine years and spent five years as director of human resources and administration for an engineering and consulting firm in the District.
In 2004, she received a Master of Divinity degree from the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, and served at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., and St. John’s Episcopal Church in Beltsville, Maryland, before joining the staff of Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde. Her ministry in Washington included clergy development, multicultural and justice issues, serving as canon to the ordinary and chief of staff.
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