On International Women’s Day, JRS/USA Announces First Female Executive Director

BY ISN STAFF | March 8, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC – Jesuit Refugee Service/USA announces that its Board of Directors has appointed Joan Rosenhauer to serve as the first woman in the role of Executive Director, leading the organization into a new era during a critical time for refugees. A recognized leader in the international humanitarian world, Joan has relentlessly put her faith into action for over three decades, most recently serving as the Executive Vice President of Catholic Relief Services (CRS).

“With more than 65 million people displaced around the world, the work of the Jesuit Refugee Service has never been more critical,” says Rosenhauer. “I have personally seen that the approach JRS takes is effective, essential, and gives refugees the dignity that they deserve. I am proud to join JRS and look forward to advancing this critical work alongside our partners and supporters.”

Rosenhauer will take on the leadership of JRS/USA starting on March 27, promoting and defending the rights of refugees, and ensuring the U.S. responds to the needs of refugees globally. As a member of JRS’s global Senior Leadership Team, she will join nine other Regional Directors of the Jesuit Refugee Service that represent the organization in over 50 countries.

“We are thrilled to have Joan lead our efforts in the United States,” says Fr Thomas H Smolich, SJ, International Director of Jesuit Refugee Service. “Joan has dedicated her career to seeking justice for the poor and marginalized, and we’re fortunate that she’s bringing the weight of that experience, as well as her expertise in leadership and management, to accompany, serve, and advocate for refugees.”

Rosenhauer is a former JRS/USA Board Member and has spent most of her career advocating for social justice and mobilizing the U.S. Catholic community to do the same. As the Executive Vice President of CRS, Rosenhauer led the organization’s outreach, marketing, and communications—helping those in the United States respond to critical needs around the world. Under her leadership, CRS programs, followers, and revenue grew. Prior to joining CRS, Rosenhauer spent 16 years with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, where she served as associate director of the Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development. Prior to that role, she held a variety of positions, including special projects coordinator and outreach coordinator for the USCCB’s Department of Social Development and World Peace.

“We are confident in Joan’s experience and expertise and look forward to the passion, dedication, innovation, and creativity we know she will bring to the position,” concludes David McNulty, Chair of JRS/USA’s Board of Directors.   

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