July 5, 2017

Catholic Charities Welcomes New Chief Executive Officer Jilma Meneses

Catholic Charities Welcomes New Chief Executive Officer
Jilma Meneses succeeds Jeff Bialik as leader of one of the Bay Area’s largest and most comprehensive social services agencies


(July 5, 2017) Catholic Charities is pleased to welcome Jilma Meneses, JD as the agency’s new Chief Executive Officer. Appointed by the Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, and the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Ms. Meneses succeeds former Executive Director Jeff Bialik.


“This is an exciting time for Catholic Charities. Our agency is stronger than it has ever been in its 100 plus year history,” said Steve Molinelli, president of the Catholic Charities Board of Directors. “My fellow board members and I look forward to working with Jilma to continue to build on our success and track record.  She is an experienced executive whose passion for advocating for the most vulnerable and marginalized among us will ensure we remain at the forefront of strengthening families and reducing poverty in our community.”


Ms. Meneses and her family are originally from Central America and she moved to San Francisco at the age of five. She grew up in the Mission and in her youth was a client of Catholic Charities. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon where she began a distinguished career in higher education. Ms. Meneses has extensive executive leadership expertise.  In conjunction with her most recent role as Chief Operating Officer and Chief General Counsel at Concordia University, she served as the Dean of the Concordia University School of Law. Prior to joining Concordia University, Ms. Meneses served in executive leadership roles at several high profile institutions, including as Chief Diversity Officer at Portland State University and Director of Risk Management at Oregon Health Science University (OHSU).  In addition to her advocacy for justice and civic engagement, she has served on community taskforces as well as the board of many nonprofits, including United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, Latino Network, Adelante Mujeres, I Have a Dream Foundation, and Partners in Diversity.  She is the founder of the non-profit Our Family in Africa, which serves children in the Democratic Republic of Congo by providing education and humanitarian aid to children, particularly those orphaned by war, genocide, and disease. Ms. Meneses was the organization’s Chief Executive Officer and Counsel from its inception in 2002 until 2015 in a volunteer capacity. 


“It is an honor to return home to the Bay Area and join Catholic Charities, an agency that values all aspects of humanity by protecting and empowering vulnerable populations,” said Ms. Meneses. “I believe all people should be treated with worth and dignity and I look forward to continuing Catholic Charities’ work of promoting service and justice. Franklin D. Roosevelt once said that social justice is the path of faith, the path of hope, and the path of love toward our fellow humans. I am humbled that I have been given the opportunity to be part of such an incredible organization that adheres to the same and look forward to working with our staff, volunteers and community to provide hope and healing to others.”


Catholic Charities programs and services help the most vulnerable families in San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo Counties, by preventing homelessness, providing permanent housing and health stabilization, helping seniors age with dignity, giving children and youth the chance to have healthy futures, and welcoming refugees and immigrants with respect and dignity.

Catholic Charities Logo.

Photo of Ms. Meneses. 

About Catholic Charities

Founded in 1907 and rooted in our faith traditions of charity and justice, Catholic Charities is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening families and reducing poverty in the three counties of the Archdiocese of San Francisco (San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo). Catholic Charities serves and advocates for the poor, the sick, the distressed, children, youth, families, immigrants and seniors, regardless of race, religion, color, sex, age, physical or mental disability, national origin, sexual orientation, or any other basis covered by local law. For more information on Catholic Charities, visit CatholicCharitiesSF.org.