Members of Caritas International have chosen a new Secretary General and made history in the process. The new Secretary General is Lesley-Anne Knight, who by the accepting the position, becomes the first woman to ever hold the position.
The newly elected Secretary General said that, “Caritas is a treasure. I look forward with great honor to the next four years at Caritas Internationalis. The work we do here has a lasting impact on the lives of the poor, and I feel humbled to be given this responsibility by my brothers and sisters in the Caritas family.”
As the Caritas Internationalis Secretary General, she will be responsible for the coordination and joint work of the 162 member network, the largest Catholic and the second largest global aid network.
Delegates also elected Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga as the Caritas Internationalis President at the beginning of their week-long meeting in Rome .
Lesley-Anne Knight is the first woman to occupy the position. She replaces Duncan MacLaren , who leaves office after eight years.
Speaking about her goals as Secretary General, Knight said, “Caritas will need to strengthen its coordination, its communications, and its advocacy to achieve its potential for transforming the world through our living faith in Jesus Christ.”
Lesley-Anne Knight, 51, originally hails from Zimbabwe and is of British nationality. joins Caritas Internationalis from CAFOD (Caritas England and Wales ), where she was International Director since 2004, managing over 200 staff. She has over 25 years experience working on development and humanitarian issues around the world.