Obama Nominates Hackett to Vatican Ambassadorship

Friday, 14 Jun 2013 05:40 PM

By Todd Beamon

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President Barack Obama on Friday nominated Ken Hackett, the retired president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, as Ambassador to the Holy See in Rome.

Hackett, who now is a consultant to the Institute for Global Development at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, was among six individuals Obama nominated to various State Department diplomatic positions.

"It gives me great confidence that such dedicated and capable individuals have agreed to join this administration to serve the American people," Obama said in a statement. "I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come."

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Hackett retired last year after serving Catholic Relief Services for 40 years. He was president and CEO from 1993 to 2012.

Established in 1943, CRS is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency provides assistance to people in 99 countries and territories.

He also served as the organization's East African regional director and country representative in the Philippines. His other positions with CRS include senior director of external affairs and African regional director.

Hackett joined CRS in 1972 as a staff member in Sierra Leone.

Hackett also served as North American vice president of Caritas Internationalis, the official humanitarian agency of the global Catholic Church, and was a member of the Pontifical Commission, Cor Unum, the Vatican body that coordinates the Catholic Church’s charitable work.

He also served on the board of the Millennium Challenge Corp., a bilateral foreign aid agency established by Congress in 2004. The organization is based in Washington.

From 1968 to 1971, Hackett was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana.

He holds a bachelor of science degree from Boston College.

Others nominated to State Department posts on Friday by Obama include Liliana Ayalde as ambassador to Brazil; James Costos as ambassador to Spain; John B. Emerson as ambassador to Germany; Rufus Gifford as ambassador to Denmark; and Patricia Marie Haslach as ambassador to Ethiopia.

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