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, Dean’s office

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.


Parbatee Kooblall, Administrative Specialist, Dean's office

Parbatee Kooblall provides general office support for the Dean and the Nida Institute. This support includes administration and responsibility for the day-to-day office processes and procedures.


Deborah Shadd, Translation Training and Scholarship Associate, Dean’s office

Deborah Shadd 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 holds graduate degrees in translation studies, linguistics, and biblical exegesis. 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, Dean's Office

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).


Kuo-Wei Peng, Translations Officer, Translations Unit

Kuo-Wei Peng, PhD, manages and supervises UBS translation projects, actively carrying forward the Nida Institute’s mandate for Bible translation work. He also collaborates with both ABS and UBS colleagues in the ongoing maintenance, revision and adaptation of American Bible Society proprietary translations. Kuo-Wei further serves the Nida Institute by creating and reviewing scholarly resources and directing projects in service to various ABS mission objectives. He has authored numerous scholarly articles both in English and in Chinese and is the author of Hate the Evil, Hold Fast to the Good: Structuring Romans 12:1-15:13 (2006). 


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 engagement, including providing professional development to translation leaders. Dr. Ciampa taught for thirteen years at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and served in several leadership roles in the Biblical Studies department. Prior to this, he collaborated with the Bible Society of Portugal in the revision of its contemporary translation of the Bible. He is the co-author of First Corinthians for the Pillar New Testament Commentary series (Eerdmans, 2010) as well as the author of The Presence and Function of Scripture in Galatians 1 and 2 (Mohr Siebeck, 1998) as well as several published articles and is an active participant in several academic and professional societies.


Kristin Miller-Hellman, Library Services Manager, Library and Archives

Kristin Miller-Hellman manages ABS's archives and records and is responsible for guiding the day-to-day operations and long-range development of the Library and Archives department. Her responsibilities include overseeing the preservation and digitization of key resources and assisting staff and external researchers with their research needs.


Thom May, Quality Assurance Director

The Reverend Thom May oversees the Quality Assurance Unit of the Nida Institute and works collaboratively with the Dean's office and other units within Global Scripture Ministries to implement strategies that will advance the Society's mission objectives while maintaining a high degree of scholarly integrity.


Davina McDonald, Editorial Manager, Content Quality Assurance

Davina McDonald supports the Quality Assurance Director by assuring the integrity of both Scripture use and English usage in all ABS print and web-based products. She plans and develops Bible educational content for home, church and community outreach programs.


Charles Houser, Editorial and Publications Manager, Scholarly Publishing and Editing

Charles Houser directs the development of new scholarly publications on behalf of the Nida Institute in service of the ABS mission. In addition, he assists with content development and manages the electronic databases of the Bible Society’s intellectual properties, assuring that the intentions of the translators, authors, and creators are accurately reflected in both archived and published forms.


Liana Lupas, Curator of the Scripture Collection, Library

Liana Lupas, PhD, oversees the American Bible Society’s Scripture Collection and serves as curator of the Library's Rare Book Collection in partnership with MOBIA. In addition to maintaining the collection, Liana provides a variety of services, including access, research, exhibiting, and education.