NEW YORK (UMNS) - Harriett Jane Olson, an executive with the United Methodist Publishing House, was elected chief executive of the Women's Division of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.

Olson now oversees the administrative arm and policy-making body of United Methodist Women, a denominational organization of approximately 800,000 members in the United States. Its purpose is to foster spiritual growth, develop leaders and advocate for justice, and its members give more than $20 million a year for ministries related to women, children and youth worldwide.

She began her job Sept. 4 at the board's offices in New York City. She succeeds Jan Love, who left at the end of 2006 to become dean of the Candler School of Theology in Atlanta.

Olson was unanimously elected Aug. 17 at Scarritt-Bennett Center during a called meeting of the Women's Division board of directors.

In her new job, she serves in other leadership and management roles in the Board of Global Ministries. The board's personnel committee and directors are expected to approve her nomination at their September and October meetings.