Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio was installed as the Seventh Bishop of Brooklyn, which encompasses the Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, on October 3, 2003. Prior to this assignment, he served as the Bishop of Camden, Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, from July 1999 to October 2003. Bishop DiMarzio has long been a national leader in the defense of migrants and newcomers. He is a Member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. In addition, he has served as Chairman of the Migration Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB); Chairman of the Board of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.; and as the US representative to the Global Commission on International Migration, a United Nations-sponsored Commission.
Bishop DiMarzio also served on the Boards of the International Catholic Migration Commission and the National Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Forum. He chairs the Board of the Migration Policy Institute. In addition to the many leadership positions he has held, Bishop DiMarzio has published numerous papers and speeches and testified before Congress on migration issues on many occasions.
Rev. Moacir Balen, c.s. is the Provincial Superior of the St. Charles Borromeo Province of the Missionaries of St. Charles – Scalabrinians, a worldwide Roman Catholic Religious Missionary Community of priests and religious brothers, established in 1887 with the specific purpose to provide spiritual and charitable assistance to immigrants. As the provincial superior of the St. Charles Borromeo Province, he oversees all ministry activities of the Scalabrinian professed religious in parishes, missions, seminaries, centers for immigrants, research and advocacy initiatives in the Eastern States of the United States of America, the Eastern Provinces of Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti and Venezuela.
Rev. Moacir Balen, c.s. was born on May 29, 1949 in Erechim, RS, Brazil. He has been a Scalabrinian religious since the profession of his first religious vows on January 31, 1969. He was ordained Roman Catholic priest in the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Charles – Scalabrinians on December 31, 1977. He is fluent in English, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. Since his ordination, Rev. Balen has ministered as a Scalabrinian Priest in Valencia, Puerto Cabello and Caracas, Venezuela; Brooklyn, NY; Mississauga, Ontario; Somerville, MA; and Orlando, FL. Currently, as Provincial Superior, he is based in New York, NY.
Over the course of his career in immigration, Austin T. Fragomen, Jr. has served as Staff Counsel to the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship and International Law. He also was an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University School of Law. He has testified before Congress on a range of immigration issues, including usage of the L-1 visa category by multinational companies. He is also the founding co-author of a renowned series of immigration handbooks. The handbooks, published by Thomson Reuters/West, provide information on the best practices and latest developments in the field of business immigration.
Mr. Fragomen attended Georgetown University and received his law degree from Case Western Reserve University. He is admitted to the Bars of the State of New York and the District of Columbia. He is also admitted to practice with the US Supreme Court of Appeals; the US Court of the District of Columbia; the US Court of Appeals, Second Circuit; the US Court of Appeals, Third Circuit; the US District Court, District of Columbia; and the US District Court, Southern District of New York. He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Council on International Personnel; Chairman of the Practicing Law Institute’s Annual Immigration Institute; and a Member of the University Council at Case Western Reserve University. Mr. Fragomen is Chairman of the Executive Committee of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen and Loewy, LLP.
Karen Grisez is full-time Public Service Counsel in the Washington, DC office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP. In that capacity, she supports the Firm’s attorneys in a variety of subject matter areas, including social security disability, landlord/tenant, family law, veterans benefits, and other civil litigation. Since the mid-1990s, Ms. Grisez has increasingly specialized in immigration matters. She has served as Chair of the American Bar Association’s (ABA’s) Commission on Immigration, is a member of the Advisory Board of the ABA’s Immigration Justice Project in San Diego, and is a former co-chair of the ABA Section of Litigation’s Immigration Litigation Committee. She is also a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, serves on its national Pro Bono Committee, and is a former Trustee of the American Immigration Council. Ms. Grisez has been a volunteer case screener for the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Pro Bono Project for over a decade. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs, the Board of Directors of the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition and the Washington Council of Lawyers.
Ms. Grisez received her BA degree summa cum laude from the University of Maryland in 1997 and her JD from the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America in 1990. She has successfully represented numerous asylum applicants and other immigrants before the Asylum Offices, Immigration Judges, the BIA and in federal court and litigates a variety of other immigration matters. She also speaks frequently on asylum and other immigration-related topics.
Linda Hartke served as President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) from 2010-2018. In that role, Ms. Hartke oversaw the direction and growth of LIRS and served as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors. She broadened LIRS’s reach to transform the lives of more newcomers and individuals who stand alongside them. Under Ms. Hartke’s leadership, LIRS impacted major federal policies on immigration, grew the culture of welcome in American communities, and strengthened the participation of Lutherans and new Americans in volunteer and advocacy roles. Financial support dramatically increased and diversified under her leadership, and the programmatic reach of LIRS expanded.
Ms. Hartke’s leadership experience is exemplified by her previous role as the executive director of the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, a global network of churches and agencies engaged in advocacy, based in Geneva, Switzerland. Her expertise on migrant issues comes from serving as chief of staff to Rep. Chet Atkins (D-MA), where she worked on issues affecting the Southeast Asian refugee community. Her passion for serving vulnerable migrants continued after her time on Capitol Hill, first as country director for Church World Service in Cambodia, and then as director of programs and operations at its New York headquarters.
An active Lutheran, Ms. Hartke is a member of Christ Lutheran Church in Baltimore, serves on the board of the Thrivent Member Network East Region and was a founding member and co-chair of the We Are All America Campaign.
Donald M. Kerwin, Jr. has directed the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) since September 2011. He previously worked for the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) between 1992 and 2008, serving as its Executive Director (ED) for 15 years and its interim ED for six months in late 2012 and early 2013. Upon his arrival at CLINIC in 1992, Mr. Kerwin coordinated CLINIC’s political asylum project for Haitians. CLINIC, a subsidiary of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), is a public interest legal corporation that supports a national network of several hundred charitable legal programs for immigrants. Between 2008 and 2011, Mr. Kerwin served as Vice-President for Programs at the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), where he wrote on immigration, labor standards, and refugee policy issues. He has also served as an associate fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center where he co-directed Woodstock’s Theology of Migration Project; a non-resident senior fellow at MPI; a member of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration; a member of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Immigration Task Force; a board member for Jesuit Refugee Services-USA, the Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition, and the Border Network for Human Rights; an advisor to the USCCB Committee on Migration; and a member of numerous advisory groups. Mr. Kerwin writes and speaks extensively on immigration policy, refugee protection, access to justice, national security, and other issues.
Ralph McCloud is the director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), an anti-poverty program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). CCHD works to break the cycle of poverty by helping low-income people participate in decisions that affect their lives, families and communities. It has a complementary mission of educating on poverty and its causes. Mr. McCloud has served as the national director for five years.
Prior to working with USCCB, Mr. McCloud worked as Director of Pastoral and Community Services in the Diocese of Fort Worth Texas. In this capacity, he supervised the Departments of Family Life, Peace and Justice, African American Ministry, Ministry to the Incarcerated, Ministry to People with Disabilities, Hospital Ministry and Hispanic Ministry. He has served as President of the National Association of Black Catholic Administrators and as a board member of both the National Black Catholic Congress and the Roundtable Association of Social Action Directors.
Mr. McCloud also served four terms on the Fort Worth City Council from 1997 – 2005 and three terms as Mayor Pro Tempore. He chaired the County Homeless Commission and was named Tarrant County’s First Racial Reconciliation Award Winner by the Tarrant County Community of Churches. He is also the recipient of the State of Texas Courage Award from the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. In 2009, he was awarded the History Maker Award from the Archdiocese of Atlanta in 2009. Catholic Charities USA’s awarded Ralph the Martin Luther King Keep the Dream Alive Award in 2010.
Joan F. Neal is an independent organizational development consultant specializing in strategic planning and leadership development in the Greater Washington DC area. Formerly, she served as Vice President, Institutional Planning and Effectiveness and Chief Planning Officer at Cabrini College, in Radnor Pennsylvania, where as a member of the President’s Cabinet, she led and oversaw key institutional strategic and operational planning, alignment and effectiveness processes, Human Resources, diversity and mission integration. Prior to joining Cabrini College, Ms. Neal was Executive Vice President at Catholic Relief Services in Baltimore, MD where she founded and led CRS’ U.S. Operations Division, overseeing the agency’s outreach and engagement of the nation’s 14 million Catholics, directed CRS’ national public policy and legislative advocacy and as a member of the Executive Leadership Team, participated in overall agency management.
Before relocating to the East Coast, she served as Associate Director of Leadership Greater Chicago, a leadership development program and network; Vice President of Public Affairs at Harris Bank and Vice President and Branch Manager at First National Bank of Chicago.
Ms. Neal is a former Board member of Jesuit Refugee Services and currently serves as a member of the Board of the Mexican American Catholic College (San Antonio, TX), Life Trustee of Catholic Theological Union (Chicago, IL) and a consultant to the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management as well as The Reid Group. She holds a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies from Catholic Theological Union (Chicago, IL) as well as a BA in English from Loyola University (Chicago, IL).
Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J. is the President of Georgetown Preparatory School. Father Pilarz’s long commitment to Catholic education began in his youth in New Jersey and at Camden Catholic High School, where he now serves as chair of the board. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Georgetown University in 1981, the same year that he entered the Society of Jesus. As part of his Jesuit formation, he earned a master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University and master’s degrees in divinity and theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology (Boston College School of Theology and Ministry). He was ordained a priest in 1992.
Father Pilarz holds a doctoral degree in English from the City University of New York, where he wrote his doctoral dissertation on the poetry of St. Robert Southwell, S.J., and John Donne, which won the CUNY Alumni Achievement Prize for Dissertation Excellence. While completing his doctoral studies, Father Pilarz was appointed to the English faculty at Saint Joseph’s University. Father Pilarz also served as a professor of English at Georgetown.
Father Pilarz served as president of The University of Scranton in Scranton, Pennsylvania, from 2003 to 2011. During his tenure, Scranton earned national recognition for academic quality, student success and community engagement. Father Pilarz also served as the twenty-third president of Marquette University from 2011 to 2013.
James A. Serritella, a partner at Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella in Chicago, serves on the firm’s management committee and chairs its Religious and Not-for-Profit practice group. He focuses his practice on serving the legal needs of tax exempt religious and not-for-profit organizations and on managing overall client relationships. Mr. Serritella has represented many kinds of entities including associations, churches, dioceses, synods, religious orders and congregations, hospitals and other health care entities, colleges, elementary and secondary schools, seminaries, social services agencies and institutions, and cemeteries. Many of these entities are affiliated with or sponsored by a religious organization, while some are secular in nature. The religious organizations come from a variety of traditions.
Mr. Serritella received his JD from the University of Chicago Law School in 1971. He earned an MA from the Committee for the Analysis of Ideas and Study of Methods at the University of Chicago. He has a BA from St. Charles Seminary College of Liberal Arts (State University of New York) and a second bachelor’s degree from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He received mediation training from the National Health Lawyers Association; and received advanced mediation training from the CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, the Program on Negotiation at Harvard University, and the Center for Dispute Settlement. Mr. Serritella has served on numerous civic boards and now serves on the Board of Directors of Music of the Baroque, a Chicago performing arts group that promotes appreciation for classical music.