Meet the Staff

Philip Towner, Dean

The Reverend Dr Philip H. Towner, PhD, is Dean and Executive Director of the Nida Institute. He is both a biblical and a translation scholar, with extensive experience as a translation consultant in SE Asia and the Americas. He holds several visiting lecturer positions, including at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. Prior to assuming leadership of the Nida Institute, he was Director of Translation Services for the United Bible Societies, managing a team of professionals with oversight of hundreds of translation projects worldwide. Rev. Dr. Towner has authored and edited numerous scholarly articles and is the author of the NICNT commentary The Letters to Timothy and Titus (2006). He was ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church, USA, in 2013 and currently serves on the staff of St. Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church in New York City.


James Maxey, Associate Dean

James Maxey, PhD, serves as Associate Dean at Nida Institute. He provides liaison between the Dean of the Nida Institute and the Institute’s various partners. He is the Dean of Faculty for the Nida School of Translation Studies and the Nida School of Bible Translation. James worked as a translation consultant in Africa for more than twenty years. His research interests include performance and translation. Besides numerous journal articles, he is the author of From Orality to Orality: A New Paradigm for Contextual Translation of the Bible (2009) and co-editor of Translating Scripture for Sound and Performance: New Directions in Biblical Studies (2012).


Dulce Alvarado, Program Manager

Dulce Alvarado serves as the operations and project manager of the Nida Institute, where she oversees and directs all of the Institute’s operational and financial matters. Special duties include managing the logistics and registration processes for the Translation Studies Research Symposium convened each September in New York.


Deborah Shadd, Translation Training and Scholarship Associate

Deborah Shadd, Ph.D., serves in the role of Translation Training and Scholarship Associate at the Nida Institute, seconded full time from the Canadian Bible Society's Scripture Translation Department. She is Dean of Associates for the Nida School of Translation Studies and works to develop research and training initiatives in service to Bible translators and other translation professionals on a global scale. She has worked as a freelance translator and has published a number of articles, including “The Other Side of the Coin: A New Perspective on Translation and Metaphor” (In Other Words, 2009) and “Chasing Ricoeur: In Pursuit of the Translational Paradigm” (New Voices in Translation Studies, 2012). Prior to taking up her current role, she was helping to prepare undergraduate and masters’ level students for the challenging work of Bible translation as a Lecturer at the Canada Institute of Linguistics.


Simon Crisp, Interconfessional Scholarship and Training Associate

Simon Crisp, DPhil (University of Oxford), serves in the role of Interconfessional Scholarship and Training Associate at the Nida Institute, seconded 50% of his time from United Bible Societies. Simon’s particular responsibilities include program development in the Orthodox world and for scholarly text-critical projects. He has worked in the field of Bible translation for more than thirty years and has occupied a number of senior positions with the United Bible Societies. Simon holds an Honorary Fellowship in the Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing at the University of Birmingham (UK). He has published widely in the areas of Bible translation, hermeneutics and textual criticism, and is one of the editors of The Gospel According to John in the Byzantine Tradition (2007).


Roy Ciampa, Manager of Biblical Scholarship and Integrated Training

Roy E. Ciampa, Ph.D.,  serves as Manager of Biblical Scholarship and Integrated Training for the Nida Institute. He is responsible for the development and application of biblical scholarship for the promotion of Bible translation and Scripture engagement, including providing professional development to translation leaders. Roy was previously Professor of New Testament and Chair of the Biblical Studies division at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (USA), where he was on full-time faculty for thirteen years and continues to teach adjunctively. Prior to that he lectured in theological schools in Portugal for a decade and collaborated with the Bible Society of Portugal in the revision of its contemporary translation of the Bible. He is co-author of First Corinthians for the Pillar New Testament Commentary series (Eerdmans, 2010), as well as author of The Presence and Function of Scripture in Galatians 1 and 2 (Mohr Siebeck, 1998) and numerous scholarly articles and essays.


Dan Fitzgerald, Manager of Integration of Training of Translation and Scripture Engagement

 Dan Fitzgerald, Ph.D., serves as Manager of Integration of Training of Translation and Scripture Engagement for the Nida Institute. Dan is responsible for the development and application of interdisciplinary research that advances the effective integration of Bible translation, Scripture engagement, global arts, and media. Dan served in the Baka Bible translation project with SIL Cameroon (1996-2008). He received his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology in 2011 and has taught courses in “Western Music” and “World Music,” as well as courses in “Research Methods in the Performing Arts” and “Expressive Form Analysis in Oral Verbal Arts” (at GIAL). From 2010-12 Dan was Arts Consultant with SIL International, and from 2012-15 he directed numerous international workshops in Oral Bible Storytelling with the Seed Company. Dan has collaborated with the Nida Institute in the development of its Intersemiotic Translation seminars since 2011.