President, Catholic Relief Services
Ken Hackett is president of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), one of the world's most effective and efficient relief and development agencies. He oversees operations in more than 100 countries, with a global staff of nearly 5,000.
Mr. Hackett is a native of West Roxbury, Mass. After graduating from Boston College in 1968, he joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to serve in Ghana.
Mr. Hackett joined CRS in 1972, starting his career in Sierra Leone. He has served CRS in posts throughout Africa and Asia, as well as in a variety of positions at CRS headquarters. He was the regional director for Africa, guiding CRS' response to the Ethiopian famine of 1984-1985. He supervised operations in East Africa during the crisis in Somalia in the early 1990s. Mr. Hackett has led CRS since 1993.
During Mr. Hackett's tenure, CRS has embarked on a concerted effort to engage the Catholic community in the United States in its work around the world. As part of this strategy, CRS established the U.S. Operations division in 2002 with a mission to foster global solidarity among Catholics in the United States. In addition, lay people were appointed for the first time to the CRS board of directors.
Mr. Hackett has received honorary degrees from Boston College, Cabrini College, College of Great Falls, College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Mount St. Mary's University, New York Medical College, Siena College, University of Notre Dame, University of San Diego, University of Santa Clara, Villanova University and Walsh University. In 2004, Mr. Hackett was named a Knight Commander of the Papal Order of Saint Gregory the Great, one of the highest Papal honors.
He has served as North America President of Caritas Internationalis, the confederation of humanitarian agencies of the global Catholic Church. He is currently a member of the boards of the Pontifical Commission Cor Unum, the Vatican body that coordinates the Church's charitable work; Migration & Refugee Services, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; International Policy Committee, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; and the Africa Society. He has served on the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs, and was recently named to Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's International Advisory Council.
From 2004 to 2009, Mr. Hackett served on the Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a federal effort to increase aid to countries that demonstrate a commitment to ruling justly, investing in people and encouraging economic freedom.
Mr. Hackett lives in Baltimore with his wife and two children. They are parishioners at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.