The General Council

Mary Stewart Adams, General Secretary and President
Leah Walker, Secretary
Charles Burkham J.D., Treasurer
Gino Ver Eecke, Interim Chair and Eastern Region Representative
Christine Burke, Western Region Representative
Margaret Runyon, Member at large
Ezra Sullivan, Member at large


Mary Stewart Adams, General Secretary and President

Eddie Ledermann, Director of Finance

Tess Parker, Director of Programs

Administrative offices for the U.S. Society are located at Rudolf Steiner House
1923 Geddes Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 41804

The General Council of the Anthroposophical Society in America carries the spiritual mission of the Society, and they are the volunteer board of directors of our non-profit organization, with responsibility for its legal and financial well-being.

The General Council strives to represent the Anthroposophical Society in the world, support the work of the School for Spiritual Science and the Sections, and help cultivate a deep relationship to anthroposophy among members and initiatives. It is the intent and purpose of the General Council to serve as a connection to the incarnation of anthroposophy in our time. Minutes of General Council meetings are available online to members who are logged in.

mary stewart adams

Mary Stewart Adams,
President and General Secretary

For over twenty years, under the title of Star Lore Historian, Mary Stewart Adams has worked as a dark skies advocate, to raise awareness about the effects of light pollution and to make known the mysteries of the starry skies from environmental, cultural, and anthroposophical perspectives. In 2011 she led the team that established one of the world’s first ten international dark sky parks, which success led to the protection of thousands of acres of state land for its natural darkness in her home state of Michigan. Mary is a sought-after public speaker, and has, for the last 12 years, hosted the weekly public radio program and podcast “The Storyteller’s Night Sky.”

Mary first encountered the work of Rudolf Steiner at age 18 in 1981 and met Hazel Straker, a pioneer in Astrosophy, in 1996. These two destiny moments have shaped much of her life path, which, together with her education in literary arts, continue to inspire her work and research. She joined the School for Spiritual Science in 2000.

Mary has four children, and since accepting the position of General Secretary for the Anthroposophical Society in America, she makes her home in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


 Leah Walker,

Leah Walker has a deep interest in human development and earth evolution, particularly as described by Rudolf Steiner. She is a biography worker and licensed professional counselor, currently in private practice. She holds a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Early in her career she worked with recovering addicts and then with incarcerated teens. Leah was honored to follow in the footsteps of her late mentor Maria de Zwaan, serving for many years as a faculty member of the Center for Biography and Social Art. She has traveled abroad many times to participate in the Worldwide Biography Conference and in 2017 was part of a team that reimagined the organization, grounded in threefold principles, that continues to provide strength and continuity today. Leah became a First Class member in 2004. She lives in Wayne, Illinois.


Tess Parker,
Director of Programs

Tess Parker has been committed to discovery through anthroposophy for over a decade. She deeply appreciates her journey of connecting to and learning from the anthroposophical community- both nationally and internationally.

Prior to this role, she was a Waldorf teacher, and a biodynamic farmer for many years, and has facilitated learning programs and apprenticeships in both fields for all age groups.

Tess’ interests lie in collaborating with the elemental kingdom, offering astrological readings and consultations, and developing skills in biography and social art. Tess brings a commitment to growth and innovation, and an ethos for team-work and collaboration.

Charles Burkham J.D.

After advocating for equal justice as an attorney for 13 years, Charles Burkam met the image of the human being through Waldorf Education.  He found such wisdom in Rudolf Steiner’s writings on the relationship between that image, the dynamics of the starry heavens, and social dynamics that he moved his family to England in 1986 and joined the Anthroposophical Society,

After his Foundation Studies he spent fourteen years in the collaborative management in Anthroposophical institutions organizations there.  Returning to the US, Charles consulted for the BDA, served as a Trustee for the Yggdrasil Land Trust, grew Desert Marigold Charter School in Phoenix to a full K-12, and has been Treasurer for the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education. He joined the School of Spiritual Science in 2011.

Charles is deeply interested in the wisdom of Indigenous culture as well–his late wife Dede was part Passamaquoddy and Cherokee. Charles has five children.

Ezra Sullivan
Member at Large

Born in Los Angeles, Ezra Sullivan moved to South America after high school to initiate an inquiry into the life and being of man and nature with meditation and agriculture. In Latin America, Rudolf Steiner’s ideas quickly reached Ezra through the Biodynamic work. Upon returning to the United States three years later, Ezra orientated his spiritual life completely toward Anthroposophy. The following nine years were focused mainly in the Pacific Northwest on regenerative biodynamic agriculture, nonprofit leadership, the intentional communities movement, and non-violent activism. In 2022, Ezra studied at the Goetheanum in Switzerland. His focus now lies primarily in the social realm including adult engagement in Anthroposophy and renewing organizations. In 2024, Ezra moved to Threefold Community in New York.


Gino Ver Eecke,
Eastern Region

Gino’s journey with Anthroposophy began in Roeselare, Belgium, at the age of 16. After a year on a BD-farm in Switzerland, he moved to New York to study eurythmy. In 1994, he received his diploma from Eurythmy Spring Valley.
For eight years, he portrayed Benedictus with the Threefold Mystery Drama Group, culminating in the 2014 performance of the Four Mystery Dramas. During the Mystery Drama Conference at the Goetheanum in July 2018, he performed the final scene of “The Soul’s Awakening.”
Gino presently guides the Threefold Branch in Chestnut Ridge, NY, and holds roles as the President and Treasurer of the Eurythmy Association in North America and the Treasurer of the Foundation for Rudolf Steiner Books. He resides in Chestnut Ridge, NY, with his family.


Christine Burke,
Western Region

Before completing a Waldorf Teacher training through RSC, Christine earned a BA in Linguistics and an AA in English Literature. Christine taught in Waldorf schools in California and Sweden before training in the Speech Arts at Artemis School of Speech and Drama in England. Later, she earned a MA in Communication Studies where she was able to bridge many of her studies and projects to anthroposophical initiatives and concepts.

Currently, Christine teaches university level Communication Studies and travels to anthroposophical communities throughout the world to teach Logodynamics, the spirit-filled Speech Arts work of Marie & Rudolf Steiner, and to lead groups on a variety of themes. She also leads meditations online and volunteers on local boards to continue her passion for fostering the art of community, the “art of the future” as Rudolf Steiner called it.  She is on the collegium of the Social Sciences Section of the School for Spiritual Science in North America and is the Western Regional Council’s representative on the General Council.


Margaret Runyon,
At Large

Margaret grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and has spent most of her adult life in New Orleans.  It was in New Orleans that anthroposophy sought her out in 1985. During her seven years in the Detroit area in the 1990’s, Margaret was admitted to the School of Spiritual Science and served in Branch leadership

Returning to New Orleans in 1998, Margaret served for 13 years on the Anthroposophical Society’s Central Regional Council (CRC), and helped organize the CRC’s 2006 work service pilgrimage to the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina.

Having served on the boards of Waldorf School of New Orleans (WSNO)  and Raphael Academy (now Raphael Village, a Camphill affiliate), and following a 40-year career in retail, Margaret has worked as WSNO’s Enrollment and Outreach Director since 2016.  She was invited to join the Society’s General Council in 2022.

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