|Carney, Tonsing named to key positions on seminary's administrative cabinet
San Francisco Theological Seminary President Jim McDonald is pleased to announce that Kay Carney has been named as Vice President of Communications and Cecilia Tonsing has been named as Vice President of Development. McDonald, the 11th president in SFTS history, has been working hard to round out his administrative cabinet since taking over in July 2011. The addition of Carney and Tonsing brings vital educational, nonprofit and institutional experience to SFTS.
Carney was McDonald’s first key hire, joining the Seminary staff in November 2011 just in time to serve on the 2012 Presidential Inauguration Committee. She previously worked as Vice President of Communications at The Bay Institute/Aquarium of the Bay and was Statewide Communications Director at the American Lung Association of California, where she won national awards for communications and branding excellence.
She has critical nonprofit experience, working for the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (now known as EarthJustice) for nearly five years as National Vice President of Communications. EarthJustice is a nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting natural resources and wildlife, and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment. Early in her career, Carney was the Director of Public Information and Public Affairs for the City of Oakland, when former SFTS board member Henry Gardner was City Manager. Carney’s career also includes serving as Associate Producer for ABC, NBC and PBS television.
As a communications strategist, Carney has helped organizations with media, public relations, brand development and marketing, partnership building and program development.
"I have always been passionate about and committed to public interest and social justice work, and joining the stellar faculty, administrators, staff and students at SFTS is indeed an honor,” Carney said. “For me, there is no better opportunity than to join an organization whose strong desire is to make a difference in the community and world."
A resident of Oakland, Calif., Carney earned a Bachelor of Arts from University of California, Berkeley, Master of Public Administration from California State University East Bay and a PhD in Public Policy from Golden Gate University, San Francisco.
Tonsing, also a resident of Oakland, has impressive credentials as a professional in nonprofit development with a specialty in philanthropy. She holds two professional credentials: Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and Life Fellow (FAHP). These credentials are the baseline international designation for a unified credentialing program for fundraising executives. The Fellow is an earned designation, considered a top level of achievement in the field of health care resource development - a line of work where Tonsing has spent 25 years.
For more than a decade, Tonsing was the President and CEO of the St. Luke's Hospital Foundation in San Francisco. There, she guided the institution through three successful capital campaigns. She has also held high-level development positions with the California State Parks Foundation, Mercy Housing, Sutter Health and Hospice Foundation, and the Foundation for Osteoporosis Research & Education, among others. While serving at Providence Hospital, she was the Chair of all Fund Development Chief Officers for 20 West Coast hospitals. For the past four years, she also has served as a Trustee of Saybrook University, successfully chairing the presidential search committee.
Tonsing also received three successive gubernatorial appointments and served as the Chair of California’s Historic Preservation Commission. On her “watch,” California funded, designed and completed a new state archive building in Sacramento, drawing rave reviews for aesthetic appeal and functionality.
Tonsing earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Holy Names University in Oakland, received a Master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University East Bay, and completed additional graduate work at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business in its Senior Executive Program.
"It is my sense that I am joining a truly impressive transformative group of scholars and learners, a unique and loving Christian academic community located in a beautiful setting," Tonsing said. "I’m delighted to be here."
Carney, Tonsing, and McDonald are joined on the SFTS Administrative Cabinet by the following: Elizabeth Liebert, Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean; Barbara Brenner Buder, Vice President for Administration and Finance & CFO; Polly Coote, Associate Dean, Associate Professor & Registrar; Scott Clark, Interim Associate Dean of Student Life & Chaplain; and, Lynn Dunn, Associate Vice President of Development.