The UUA is pleased to announce the appointment of the Rev. Ashley Horan as Vice President for Programs and Ministries, as of February 1, 2024. The Vice President is charged to oversee and coordinate the UUA’s primary programs and ministries in alignment with the UUA’s mission and values. As a new executive role, this portfolio will take on supervision of the Ministries and Faith Development, Congregational Life (regional staff), and Organizing Strategy/Side With Love staff groups, who currently report to the Executive Vice President. The Rev. Horan, who has served as Organizing Strategy Director at the UUA since 2019, was appointed by the UUA Board of Trustees to this role at their January meeting on the recommendation from UUA President Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt. Nicole Pressley, currently Field and Programs Director for the Organizing Strategy Team, will become Acting Organizing Strategy Director.
“I am thrilled to have Rev. Horan take on this role, building on her track record of transformative leadership within our Association,” said President Betancourt. “This new position provides urgently needed executive capacity, aligned with the 2020 recommendations from the UUA’s Commission on Institutional Change to reimagine leadership at the highest levels in our Association. Her faithful service will allow us to put more energy into coordinating cross-staff efforts, leading key initiatives, supporting staff in times of challenge and crisis, and investing in relationship with our Board of Trustees and UUA partners. I have every faith that Rev. Horan’s creative, justice-seeking, relational ministry will continue to inspire Unitarian Universalists in this new role which holds much of what lives at the very heart of our tradition.”
The Rev. Ashley Horan
As the UUA's Side With Love Organizing Strategy Director since 2019, the Rev. Horan has led the development and growth of the staff group that now holds all of the UUA's outward-facing justice work. Side With Love’s campaigns include UU the Vote, UPLIFT Action, Create Climate Justice, and Love Resists.
“Working with the incredible Side With Love team has been a privilege for which I will be forever grateful,” said the Rev. Horan. “I am excited for the possibilities for collaboration, innovation, and radical imagination that are nascent within this new position that is designed to bring Ministries and Faith Development, Congregational Life, and the Organizing Strategy Team into closer partnership.”
Prior to working at the UUA, the Rev. Horan served as the Executive Director of the Minnesota UU Social Justice Alliance, Curriculum Developer and core staff of Beloved Conversations, and consulting minister to the Universalist Unitarian Church of Joliet, IL and the Open Circle UU Fellowship in Fond du Lac, WI. She has a Master of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School and a Bachelor of Arts in Francophone African Cultures from Harvard University.
Ashley is a lifelong UU who grew up at Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul, MN, and is currently an affiliated community minister and member at First Universalist Church of Minneapolis. She has lived in a swath of cities along the I-90/94 corridor, including Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Seattle. Ashley's multigenerational, multiracial, queer family includes her partner, the Rev. Karen Hutt; their children Zi, Aspen, and Eden; grandbaby Wren; and a myriad of chosen and biological family both near and far. Ashley is always up for conversations about liberatory theology and politics, queer fat femme fashion and identity, indoor and outdoor planting and tending, or sourdough baking.