FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 27, 2017
Media Contact: Cailan Franz CFranz@CatholicCharitiesSF.org 415 972 1294
Jilma Meneses to succeed Jeff Bialik as leader of one of the Bay Area’s most comprehensive social services agencies.
Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, and the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, have appointed Jilma Meneses, JD to lead the comprehensive social services agency following the upcoming planned departure of current Executive Director, Jeff Bialik. Ms. Meneses currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer & Chief General Counsel for Concordia University in Portland. Ms. Meneses will join Catholic Charities on July 1, 2017.
“On behalf of the Catholic Charities Board of Directors, I would like to thank Jeff for his service to Catholic Charities. Today, Catholic Charities is stronger than ever because of his vision and leadership,” said Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone. “I look forward to welcoming Jilma Meneses and know that Catholic Charities will continue to thrive under her leadership. We are grateful to have found an extremely qualified leader who is passionate about our mission to lead Catholic Charities as our new Chief Executive Officer.”
“Jilma will bring a wealth of experience in operations, strategic planning and leadership to Catholic Charities. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a commitment to strategic thinking, consensus building, teamwork, diversity, and inclusion that will not only ensure a smooth leadership transition for the agency, but will allow Catholic Charities to continue to grow and innovate to continue serving the needs of our community,” said Simon Manning, president of the Catholic Charities Board of Directors. “In addition to her outstanding leadership and management credentials, Jilma deeply believes in Catholic Charities work of strengthening families and reducing poverty. We are excited to welcome her to lead Catholic Charities.”
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 current 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 sitting on the board of many nonprofits, she is the founder of the non-profit Our Family in Africa, which serves orphans in the Democratic Republic of Congo by providing humanitarian aid and opportunities to children orphaned by war, genocide, and disease. Ms. Meneses was the organization’s Chief Executive Officer and Counsel from its inception in 2002 until 2015.
“It is an honor to be returning home to the Bay Area and joining 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 dignity, charity, and justice; I am humbled that I have been given the opportunity to serve at Catholic Charities 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, providing counseling, helping seniors age with dignity, giving children and youth the chance to have healthy futures, and welcoming newcomers with respect and dignity.
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.