John L. Peterson is the Cathedral’s first Canon for Global Justice and Reconciliation. In this position Canon Peterson is responsible for the international and interfaith ministry of the National Cathedral.
Canon Peterson served from 1995 to 2004 as the Secretary General of the Worldwide Anglican Communion, headquartered in London. The Anglican Communion Office is organized to provide support and counsel to the Anglican Consultative Council, the Primates Meeting, the Lambeth Conference, and the role and person of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Before his appointment as Secretary General, Canon Peterson was the Dean of St. George’s College, Jerusalem, for 12 years. He is also the Anglican Canon at St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem and an Honorary Canon in St. Michael’s Cathedral, Kaduna, Nigeria; All Saints, Mpwapwa, Tanzania; St. Dunstan’s Cathedral, Benoni, South Africa and St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Canon Peterson is a Board Member of the Anglican Communion’s Compass Rose Society, a Society which he and Archbishop George Leonard Carey founded to support the global ministry of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Canon Peterson serves on the Board of the Spafford Children’s Center in Jerusalem, a Board on which he served for 12 years as chair. He has been a member of the Advisory Council of the Anglican Observer at the United Nations as well as a member of the American Friends of the Anglican Center in Rome. As a member of the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, he works on the Long Range Development Committee. Canon Peterson is also on the Churches for Middle East Peace’s Leadership Council.
Since 2010 when the Washington National Cathedral hosted the first Christian-Muslim Summit, Canon Peterson has been an active member of the Steering Committee to plan future summits. The next summit will be hosted by Sheikh Malek Shaar, Mufti of Tripoli and North Lebanon, in June 2012 in Beirut. For the last four years Canon Peterson has served on the Brookings Institution’s Working Group planning the Religious Leaders Section for the annual U.S.-Islamic World Forum.
In Canon Peterson’s retirement, Kirsten and he make their home in Hendersonville, North Carolina, and they attend St. James’ Episcopal Church. Canon Peterson is a regular participant on the American Religious Town Hall, a weekly ecumenical cable television program. He has also accepted an invitation from the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem to support the international ministry of the Church in Jerusalem four to six months each year.