Katharine Jefferts Schori (born March 26, 1954, in Pensacola, Florida) is the 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. Previously elected as the 9th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada, she is the first woman elected as a primate of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Jefferts Schori was elected at the 75th General Convention on June 18, 2006 and invested at Washington National Cathedral on November 4, 2006.
Jefferts Schori was raised in the Roman Catholic Church until 1963 when, at the age of eight, her parents brought her into the Episcopal Church with their own move out of Roman Catholicism. She attended school in New Jersey, then went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in biology from Stanford University in 1974, a Master of Science in oceanography in 1977 and a Ph.D. in 1983, also in oceanography, from Oregon State University. She earned her Master of Divinity in 1994 from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific and was ordained priest that year. She served as assistant rector at the Church of the Good Samaritan, Corvallis, Oregon, where she had special responsibility for pastoring the Hispanic community (she speaks Spanish fluently). In 2001, she was elected and consecrated Bishop of Nevada. She was awarded a Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa) in 2001 from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific. (It is a common practice at most Episcopal seminaries to award an honorary doctorate to alumni who become bishops.) She is an instrument-rated and third-generation pilot and her parents were both also pilots.
She married Richard Schori, an Oregon State professor of topology, in 1979. Their daughter Katharine is a captain and pilot in the United States Air Force and has flown VIPs in VC-21 Learjets and AWACS command-and-control planes.