Dr. Robert W. Radtke Awarded Prestigious Cross of St. Augustine

Dr. Robert W. Radtke (center) with the Most Rev. Justin Welby (right) and the Rev. Dr. John Deane (left) at Lambeth Palace.

Press Release

June 23, 2023

Dr. Robert W. Radtke, President & CEO of Episcopal Relief & Development, was awarded the Cross of St. Augustine for Services to the Anglican Communion by the Most Rev. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, at a ceremony yesterday at Lambeth Palace in London, England. Dr. Radtke was honored for his outstanding leadership in humanitarian relief and social development, which has included leading Episcopal Relief & Development since 2005 and playing a catalytic role in forming the Anglican Alliance

“Rob Radtke has been the trusted leader of Episcopal Relief & Development for almost 20 years,” said the Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church. “He has overseen the organization’s growth by deepening relationships with Anglican partners around the world and building a team of experts to touch the lives of over 3 million people each year. This award is well-earned and I extend my deepest gratitude for his service and for the witness of Episcopal Relief & Development to Jesus of Nazareth and his way of unselfish, sacrificial love.”

Dr. Radtke was celebrated as a leader in the international development space. During his tenure at the helm of Episcopal Relief & Development, the organization implemented an Asset-Based Community Development approach, which energizes change and development from within local communities rather than from outside sources. Episcopal Relief & Development policy and research work has been spotlighted by the United Nations and other secular organizations, which brought awareness to the role faith-based organizations have in international development work. 

“During his time at Episcopal Relief & Development, Rob Radtke has worked with his team to create locally-led, evidence-driven programs that create long-lasting change,” said Teri Lawver, Chair of the Board, Episcopal Relief & Development. “From early childhood development to ending gender-based violence and climate resilience to disaster response, Episcopal Relief & Development is now a thought leader for program implementation. Congratulations to Rob on this distinct honor.”

In addition to his work leading Episcopal Relief & Development, Dr. Radtke has worked tirelessly to build relationships across the Anglican Communion with the understanding that by working together and learning from each other, Anglican organizations could create more change together. 

“Rob’s commitment to building relationships across the Anglican Communion is central to him as a person and his success at Episcopal Relief & Development,” said the Rev. Dr. John Deane, Executive Director, Anglican Board of Mission and Anglicans in Development. “In the 15 years we have worked together, Rob has been committed to fostering both a professional and personal relationship with me, which has allowed us both to learn and grow from the friendship and from our agencies’ shared missions. I was delighted that we were able to share the experience of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage together last fall. There are few people that I could have spent 42 days with but Rob is certainly one of them!”

Dr. Radtke’s commitment to relationship building extends to more than just Anglican organizations, as well. “Rob epitomizes what it means to serve,” said Robert Bank, President and CEO, American Jewish World Service. “He acts humbly and quietly but with an outspoken conviction that the entire human family is deserving of dignity. As a transformational leader, he works across faiths and disciplines, uniting religious and secular communities to create the momentum needed to support our planet’s most vulnerable people.”

The Cross of St. Augustine is a gift of the Archbishop of Canterbury, bestowed upon those who have made significant contributions to the Anglican Communion. In 2022, Nagulan Nesiah, Senior Program Officer, Disaster Relisience, Episcopal Relief & Development, was awarded the Cross for his work coordinating the Anglican Alliance’s COVID-19 pandemic response. This year’s recipients also included the Rev. Dr. John Deane, Professor Amy-Jill Levine and the Rev. Canon John Kafwanka Kaoma.

“I am honored to receive the Cross of St. Augustine and am deeply grateful to the Archbishop of Canterbury,” said Dr. Radtke. “The many accomplishments this award recognizes result from the hard work of my colleagues and our partners throughout the Anglican Communion and beyond. It is a privilege working together for lasting change with them.”

For over 80 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working together with supporters and partners for lasting change around the world. Each year the organization facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives for more than 3 million people struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: Women, Children and Climate.