M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust
Professional close-up headshot of Sharon Daloz Parks
Sharon Daloz Parks

The work of the Murdock Trust is the result of a dedicated team that brings a diverse collection of talents and expertise to support our mission of serving the common good every day. While the day-to-day efforts of our work are driven by our full-time staff, we are also fortunate to have a team of outside advisors who bring great wisdom and professional experience to our team. They help us better understand the needs of the communities we serve and identify strategies to continue to improve our efforts to see every individual, family and community in the Pacific Northwest thrive. Today, we honor Sharon Daloz Parks, who is stepping down from her role as a Senior Fellow after being a faithful partner of the Trust’s work for more than 5 years. 

Sharon’s esteemed life work precedes any introduction we could give. The author of Big Questions, Worthy Dreams: Mentoring Emerging Adults in Their Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Faith (2001), Leadership Can Be Taught: A Bold Approach for a Complex World (2005), and others, Sharon has been a leading voice in young adult development theory, fruitful mentorship, and higher education. For sixteen years, she held faculty and research positions at Harvard University and in the schools of Divinity, Business, and the Kennedy School of Government, and more recently teaches at Seattle University. She has been a member of the founding board and Associate Director and Faculty at the Whidbey Institute, where she is now a Senior Fellow. As emerging adults are navigating new challenges, Sharon has been a thoughtful listener, careful thinker, and effective communicator about the best path forward. 

 “The Murdock Trust has benefited greatly from Sharon’s thoughtful and wise counsel in the critical areas of formation and development.” said Romanita Hairston, CEO of the Murdock Trust. “Her contributions to our work around the development of leaders at various stages has strengthened our mission and the fabric of our community in immeasurable ways and we are truly grateful for her service.” 

Sharon has played an active role in Trust programming, including serving as a voice in our Vision & Call program where she shared her wisdom with internship advisors on cultivating the next generation of faithful leaders. In every engagement with the Trust, Sharon’s presence and words were warmly appreciated, and her wisdom gratefully received.  

“Sharon Parks has mentored generations of leaders while inspiring a generation to be mentors,” added Steve Moore, CEO Emeritus of the Murdock Trust. “She has a remarkable gift of seeing, hearing, and sensing the ways in which God is moving in the lives of people and affirming and encouraging those people to be ambassadors of hope, hospitality, grace, and goodness. May her many contributions through writing, speaking, mentoring, and teaching continue to ripple in our world for years to come.” 

Thank you, Sharon, for your years of service to the Murdock Trust as a Senior Fellow. Our work has been deeply enriched by it! 

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