President and General Secretary
Winkler is well-known among United Methodists for his nearly 30 years of service at the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church. At the Board of Church and Society, he held the position of seminar designer, director of annual conference relations, and assistant general secretary of resourcing congregational life before his election as general secretary in 2000. As top executive of the board, Winkler focused on the implementation of the United Methodist Social Principles through education, witness, and advocacy.
In 2013, Winkler was elected as president and general secretary of the NCC. The NCC is an ecumenical partnership of thirty-eight Christian faith groups in the United States. Its member denominations, churches, conventions, and archdioceses include Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African-American, and Living Peace traditions – in a common commitment to advocate and represent God’s love and promise of unity in our public square. As president and general secretary, Winkler is the public voice of the NCC and represents the Council as it addresses its major priorities: mass incarceration and interreligious relationships with a focus on peace. In 2019 the Council officially added the priority of ending racism.
Winkler studied African history at the University of Illinois, received a master’s degree in American history at George Mason University, and was granted an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Claremont School of Theology. He attends Fairlington United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, where his wife, Michelle Tello, is the office manager. Jim has three children.