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Chief Operations Officer appointed by Bishop Burbidge

Jan. 13, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge announced to clergy, staff and diocesan advisers the appointment of Ward Jones as chief operations officer (COO) for the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, effective Jan. 27. This appointment followed a monthlong search, aided by a search committee.

 In addition to the recommendation of the search committee, Jones came with the enthusiastic recommendation of several priests of the diocese who know Jones well. 

“This collective counsel was instrumental to my confidence in appointing Mr. Jones as COO,” Bishop Burbidge said. “In addition to the sound recommendations I received, having the opportunity to speak at length with Mr. Jones to understand how he hopes to serve the Church and assist me in my governance of the Diocese, I feel extremely confident that his experience, talents, and expertise will help to enhance the good work of our diocese.

“This is a wonderful diocese of faithful people,” said Jones. “I feel truly blessed to be offered this position. It is my aspiration to apply the gifts that God has given me for the good of our bishop, priests, deacons, consecrated religious, staff, volunteers and all the faithful.”

As COO, Jones will report directly to the Office of the Bishop. His primary role will be to serve as a chief adviser and to direct a diocesan three- to five-year strategic planning process that will impact all areas of internal operations. He also will provide day-to-day leadership and management to the operational offices of the Central Administrative Office, including Human Resources, Employee Benefits, and Payroll; Risk Management; Information Technology; General Counsel; Planning, Construction, and Facilities; Child Protection; Diocesan Events; and the San Damiano Spiritual Life Center. 

In his annoucement, Bishop Burbidge shared that Mr. Jones is a Catholic leader with extensive experience in strategic planning, creating operational efficiencies, building strong working relationships and measuring performance. Since 2012, he has served as a strategy management consultant for Guidehouse (formerly PricewaterhouseCoopers Federal). Immediately prior to his work for Guidehouse/PricewaterhouseCoopers, Jones served seven years as a strategic planner and operations consultant for Toffler Associates, a strategic advisory firm. He also has held positions in information technology consulting and operations advisement in addition to his roles as platoon leader, company commander, and operations officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. Jones received a bachelor of science degree with an English major from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. He has participated in the Wharton Executive Business Seminar on Strategic Planning and received a certification as a project management professional.

The announcement of the appointment of a new COO comes just a week after Father Jamie Workman began in his new role as vicar general for Bishop Burbidge and the diocese. “I am looking forward to working with Father Workman, the vicar general,” said Jones. “I've known Father Workman for many years, and I am certain that he and I will be united in our assistance to the bishop.”

Jones, his wife, and their four children are members of Our Lady of Hope Church in Potomac Falls. He is an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, a Knight of Columbus and a current RCIA sponsor.

In an email to staff announcing Jones’ appointment, Bishop Burbidge said, “Please join me in welcoming Mr. Jones to the diocesan central administration and in praying for him and his family especially at this time of transition.”

Atwell is diocesan chief communications officer.


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020