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Ending Extreme Poverty Now: Working Together with the Poor

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Ending Extreme Poverty Now:
Working Together with the Poor
Video now available.

We are called to confront the poverty of our brothers and sisters, to touch it, to make it our own and to take practical steps to alleviate it. -Pope Francis, 12/26/13


Ending Extreme Poverty Now:
Working Together with the Poor

Tues., April 28, 2015
4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Great Rooms of the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center
The Catholic University of America (CUA) 620 Michigan Ave., N.E., Washington, DC

Sponsored by: Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies (CUA), United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities USA, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Africa Faith & Justice Network.



4:00 p.m.: Welcoming remarks

Introduction: Dr. Stephen F. Schneck, Director, Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies, The Catholic University of America

Welcome: Ms. Melissa Rogers, Special Assistant to the President and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships

4:10 p.m.: First Keynote

Introduction: Dr. Maryann Cusimano Love, IPR Fellow, The Catholic University of America

Keynote I: His Excellency Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations

4:35 p.m.: Second Keynote

Introduction: Mr. Bill O’Keefe, Vice President for Government Relations and Advocacy, Catholic Relief Services

Keynote II: Mr. Alex Thier, Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning, U.S. Agency for International Development

5:00 p.m.: Musical Reflection

Introduction: James LaSala, IPR Undergraduate Fellow, The Catholic University of America

Musician: Sara Groves, Singer/Songwriter and Recording Artist Nominated for 7 Dove Awards

5:20 p.m.: Successes: Catholic Action to End Extreme Poverty


  • Gayle Smith, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director at the National Security Council


  • Anne St. Amant, IPR Undergraduate Fellow, The Catholic University of America
  • Dr. Stephen Colecchi, Director, Office of International Justice and Peace, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Rev. Aniedi Okure, Director, Africa Faith & Justice Network
  • Kathy Brown, Sr. Director for Mission and Catholic Identity, Catholic Charities USA; Regional Coordinator, Caritas North America, Caritas Internationalis
  • Michele Broemmelsiek, Vice President for Overseas Operations, Catholic Relief Services

6:30 p.m.: Closing Remarks

Speaker: J. Mark Brinkmoeller, Director, Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, U.S. Agency for International Development


Speaker Bios
B_Auza_700x450_CNS_15462 copyHis Excellency The Most Reverend Bernardito C. Auza
Titular Archbishop of Suacia, Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the  Holy See to the United Nations and Permanent Observer of the  Holy See to the Organization of American States

Bishop Auza was born in Talibon, Republic of the Philippines on 10 June 1959 and Ordained priest for the Diocese of Tagbilaran on 29 June 1985; then in 1986 he was incardinated to the newly created Diocese of Talibon.  He earned a doctorate in Theology and entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1990. Bishop Auza served at the Apostolic Nunciature in Madagascar, in Bulgaria, and then in Albania. He then served in the Secretariat of State in the Vatican and from there was appointed to the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York.  He was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti on 8 May 2008 and was ordained Titular Archbishop of Suacia on 3 July 2008.  He is currently the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York, having been appointed on 1 July 2014 and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the Organization of American States on 16 July 2014.

Stephen SchneckDr. Stephen F. Schneck

Dr. Stephen Schneck is the Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies.  His research is in the field of political philosophy, with special emphases on 18th century American political thought and on contemporary continental political theory; recent work has focused on the role of religion in democracy. Publications include works on American political thought (on the Constitution, or on figures such as Alexis de Tocqueville) as well as on contemporary continental authors. Among his published works are two book length studies on Max Scheler, an edited work on Fred Dallmayr, and articles and chapters ranging from studies of French post-structuralism, to the examination of the critical theory of Jürgen Habermas.

A well-known Washington-area public lecturer, with frequent media appearances, Dr. Schneck has also been honored for his teaching. He has been named Teacher of the Year three times at The Catholic University of America, and has received several other teaching awards.

loveDr. Maryann Cusimano Love

Dr. Maryann Cusimano Love is an Associate Professor in the Politics Department of The Catholic University of America. She serves on the Department of State’s Religion and Foreign Policy group, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ International Justice and Peace Committee, the Advisory Board of the Catholic Peacebuilding Network, and has served as a Fellow at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Recent books include Beyond Sovereignty: Issues for a Global Agenda (4th Edition, 2011), Morality Matters: Just Peace and Just War in an Age of Terror (forthcoming Cornell University Press), and her New York Times best-selling children’s book series, You Are My I Love You.

image001Ms. Sara Groves

Since her debut album Conversations in 2001, to her tenth album The Collection in 2013, singer/songwriter Sara Groves has become one of the most criticallyacclaimed artists in the Christian music industry. Groves’ ten albums consistently top year end polls and have been noted by Billboard Magazine, CCM magazine, Christianity Today and more. Sara describes the content of her latest release, Invisible Empires, as representing a process of ‘sorting through the layers of this frenetic life, gaining a new perspective and finding the longstanding truth.’ Since her 2005 release, Add to the Beauty, Groves has been immersed in a series of global
conversations and experiences, from the floodravaged gulf of Louisiana, the genocide memorials of Rwanda to the testimonies of Southeast Asian sex trade survivors. These experiences have shaped Sara’s music as she brings to light the difficult, meaningful work of social justice and engaging in the suffering of the afflicted. Sara, her husband Troy, and their 3 children reside in St. Paul, Minnesota where they cultivate an artistic community from a 100 year old church called Art House North.

stephen colecchiDr. Stephen Colecchi

Dr. Stephen M. Colecchi is Director of the Office of International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The Office provides staff support to the bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, which coordinates USCCB policy on international issues. He represents the Conference on international issues and manages a staff of international policy advisors.  Dr. Colecchi holds a B.A. from Holy Cross College, an M.A. from Yale University, and D.Min. from St. Mary’s University in Baltimore. Among other honors, he received the Bene Merenti Medal from Pope John Paul II.  Dr. Colecchi authored a Leader’s Guide to Sharing Catholic Social Teaching and In the Footsteps of Jesus: Resource Manual on Catholic Social Teaching.


Aniedi OkureRev. Aniedi Okure

Dominican Father Aniedi Okure is the Executive Director of Africa Faith & Justice Network (AFJN: www.afjn.org) and an instructor at Loyola Marymount University Cultural Orientation Program for International Ministers (COPIM). He comes with a range of experience in teaching, campus ministry and working with migrant communities. With a PhD (sociology) from The Catholic University of America he has done research in religion and social change, civil societies, identity in postcolonial societies and cross-cultural encounters. Presently, he is leading AFJN in developing practical ways of applying Catholic Social Teaching to nurture Catholic Civil Societies in Africa and empower them to promote just governance and the common good throughout the continent. He served as Coordinator of Ethnic Ministries at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and has published works on the impact of immigrant communities and international priests on local churches in the US, and on intercultural competency; including “Integration of African Immigrants in US Communities” (2013) and “Intercultural Competencies: Engaging African-Born Clergy and Religious in the United States” (2015). He is the co-author of International Priests in America (2006),and African and Caribbean Catholics in the United States (2008). He is a frequent guest at Voice of America TV Program Straight Talk Africa and a regularly invited speaker on intercultural competency, immigrant communities in the US, and Africa related policy issues, and serves on the Governing Board of Jubilee USA.

GayleMs. Gayle Smith

Gayle Smith is Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director at the National Security Council, where she is responsible for global development, democracy, stabilization, and humanitarian assistance issues. She was previously a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, Co-Chair of the ENOUGH Project, and Co-Founder of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network. During the Clinton Administration, Smith previously served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the NSC, and as Senior Advisor to the Administrator and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Smith was based in Africa for over 20 years as a journalist covering military, economic, and political affairs for the BBC, Associated Press, Reuters, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Toronto Globe & Mail, London Observer, and Financial Times. Smith has also consulted for a wide range of NGOs, foundations, and governmental organizations including UNICEF, the World Bank, Dutch Interchurch Aid, Norwegian Church Relief, and the Canadian Council for International Cooperation. She won the World Journalism Award from the World Affairs Council and the World Hunger Year Award in 1991, and in 1999 won the National Security Council’s Samuel Nelson Drew Award for Distinguished Contribution in Pursuit of Global Peace.

Kathy_Brown_2_ff1cb2ea478e0376438d3561fec90ebdMs. Kathy Brown

Kathy Brown, MATh, is the Senior Director for Mission and Catholic Identity for Catholic Charities USA. For the past eight years she has also served as the regional coordinator for Caritas North America of Caritas Internationalis. Prior to her work at CCUSA Kathy worked at the global headquarters of Catholic Relief Services where she served as Director for Community Engagement and Advocacy Leadership Development. Originally from the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona she served as the Dean of the School of Theological Studies at the Kino Institute, the Director of the Office of Peace and Justice at Catholic Charities, and as pastoral associate in local parishes. She has a Sacrae Theologiae Baccalaureatus (STB) and a Master of Arts in Theology from St. Paul University in Ottawa Canada. She has published numerous articles and has given presentations throughout the world on initiation, social justice, catechetics and liturgy.


MicheleBroemMs. Michele Broemmelsiek

Ms. Broemmelsiek is an international development specialist with over 19 years of experience managing multi-functional teams in resource-poor settings. Since 1995 Ms. Broemmelsiek has served in various capacities with Catholic Relief Services. CRS implements programs in over 100 countries, annually benefiting more than 85 million people. Currently, Ms. Broemmelsiek serves as Vice President for Overseas Operations leading teams that provide technical support, business development and operational leadership across the globe. Previously, Ms. Broemmelsiek served as Project Director of the AIDSRelief consortium, which provided care and treatment to over 700,000 people living with HIV in ten countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Ms. Broemmelsiek spent 13 years of her career working in the field with CRS in the Philippines, Indonesia and Zambia.


Alex High Res HeadshotMr. Alex Thier

Alex Thier is USAID’s assistant to the Administrator for Policy, Planning, and Learning (PPL). The PPL Bureau is USAID’s center for policy development, strategic planning, learning and evaluation, and partner engagement. From  June 2010- June 2013, Thier served as assistant to the administrator for Afghanistan and Pakistan affairs, overseeing USAID’s two largest missions in the world.

Before joining USAID, Thier served with the U.S. Institute of Peace as senior rule of law adviser and director for Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2005- 2010.  While at the Institute, he co-authored The Future of Afghanistan (2009) as well as The Next Chapter: The United States and Pakistan, the 2008 report of the Pakistan Working Group. Thier also served as director of the Institute’s Constitution Making, Peacebuilding, and National Reconciliation project, during which he advised numerous governments and civil society organizations engaged in ongoing constitutional drafting and national reconciliation exercises. Their was also a principal staffer on the Institute’s Genocide Prevention Task Force, and a co-author of its final report, Preventing Genocide: A Blueprint for U.S. Policymakers. The recommendations from this report formed the backbone of President Barack Obama’s 2011 Directive on Mass Atrocities.

MRMs. Melissa Rogers

Melissa Rogers serves as Special Assistant to the President and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Rogers formerly served as Director of the Center for Religion and Public Affairs at Wake Forest University Divinity School and as a nonresident Senior Fellow in the Governance Studies program of The Brookings Institution. Prior to her time with Wake Forest University and Brookings, Rogers was the Executive Director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and General Counsel of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. In 2008 Baylor University Press published a casebook co-authored by Rogers, Religious Freedom and the Supreme Court. In 2009 President Barack Obama appointed Rogers to serve as Chair of his inaugural Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In 2011 she was named to a subgroup of the State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group. Rogers has testified before subcommittees of the U.S. Senate and House Judiciary Committees. She earned her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Baylor University.


OKeefeMr. Bill O’Keefe

Bill O’Keefe is Catholic Relief Services’ Vice President for Government Relations and Advocacy. He oversees CRS’ efforts to change U.S. foreign policy in ways that promote justice and reduce poverty overseas.  Mr. O’Keefe joined CRS in 1987 as a Project Manager in Tanzania, where he served for 3 years. He has since held a variety of positions focused on Africa, educating Americans about global poverty and injustice, and changing public policy. In his current role, he also is a board member of the US Global Leadership Campaign.

Mr. O’Keefe received his Bachelor of Science cum laude from Yale in 1984 and a Master in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard in 1987.


MBMr. Mark Brinkmoeller

As director of the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, J. Mark Brinkmoeller leads a dynamic team to engage faith-based organizations and communities groups, along with their leadership, to further the mission of USAID. Just prior to joining USAID in February 2012, Brinkmoeller served as senior external engagement advisor at ONE. In this position, Brinkmoeller developed high-level strategic partnerships within the faith, business and NGO communities to increase the effectiveness and reach of ONE’s advocacy efforts. He managed relationships with faith-motivated artists and partnerships related to ONE’s Living Proof Project. Brinkmoeller directed the Church Relations Department at Bread for the World which included managing the department team, raising significant financial support and organizing for advocacy and other support from over 30 denominations, para-church organizations and local congregations for poor and hungry people in the U.S. and around the world.   On the national scene, Brinkmoeller served on the International & Domestic policy committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the CRS diocesan advisory board. He was a founding board member of the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice (now Interfaith Worker Justice).


anne picMs. Anne St. Amant

Anne is a sophomore politics major with a concentration in American government at the Catholic University of America. She is from Minneapolis, Minnesota and has been interested in government and politics since a young age. Anne has attended Catholic School her whole life and is heavily involved in her home parish, Nativity of Mary.  At CUA, she is a Resident Assistant for freshmen, involved in Student Government, and serves as a lector for student masses.  Anne has spent two semesters interning on Capitol Hill.



JlasalaMr. Jake LaSala

Jake LaSala is a Junior Politics major, with a concentration in world politics, at The Catholic University of America. He is from Somers Point, New Jersey and is interested in political economy, political theory, contemporary ethics, and wealth inequality.





Featured image was obtained from a public use search on Google.