Alistair Dutton elected new secretary general of Caritas Internationalis

The following press release was issued on May 15, 2023, by Caritas Internationalis, of which Development and Peace ― Canada is a member.

Mr. Alistair Dutton has been elected on today evening (May 15) as the Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis. He will lead the Caritas Confederation, which includes 162 national Caritas member organisations, until 2027. His election comes two days after Archbishop of Tokyo, Rev. Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi, as the new President of the humanitarian and development arm of the Catholic Church.

Currently Executive Director of SCIAF (Caritas Scotland), Mr. Dutton has more than 25 years of experience in the humanitarian field and has led projects in more than 70 countries. From 2009 to 2014, he served as the Humanitarian Director of Caritas Internationalis.

“Serving Caritas over the last three decades has been a great privilege for me. Caritas has been my home, my family, and my vocation,” the 11th Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis told Caritas’ delegates attending the General Assembly. “I promise to listen humbly, to reflect thoughtfully, and to build bridges. I promise to use the convening power of the Secretary General to drive the confederation forward together.”

Mr. Dutton first worked with Caritas in 1996. “Since then my journey with Caritas has taken me all over the world. From the war in Kosovo, Darfur, Iraq, Liberia and Syria; to tsunamis in Asia, earthquakes in Haiti, India, Indonesia and Chile; conflicts born of greed and the exploitation of wealth in Africa; waves of displacement in the Middle East; and the devastation caused by the climate emergency and extreme weather: cyclones and floods in Pakistan, Myanmar, India and Bangladesh; food crises in so many countries in Africa from the Sahel to Somalia, the Sudan to Zimbabwe; and the frightening reality of sinking island states in the Pacific,” he said.

In 2014 Dutton was also the CEO of the Sphere Project, the international humanitarian standards body. From 2005 to 2009 he was also head of the Humanitarian Programmes Unit for Africa of Christian Aid.

Today, Mrs. Kirsty Robertson the CEO of Caritas Australia, was also elected as the new Vice President of Caritas Internationalis and Mr. Patrick Debucquois was elected treasurer of CI.

Watch Alistair Dutton’s acceptance speech here:

Also see the press release about the election of Archbishop Tarcisius Isao Kikuchi as the new president of Caritas Internationalis.

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