Key Technical Personnel
CRS employs full-time regional technical advisors in peace and justice in its regional offices in Southeast Asia, Central Africa, Southern Africa, and East Africa. The remaining regions all have focal people working on peace and justice issues as part of a larger portfolio. The Program Quality and Support department at CRS Headquarters provides two full-time technical advisors, one in peacebuilding/ justice and one focusing on governance and civil society. The Overseas Support Department houses specialists in extractives industries, human trafficking and gender-based violence. Additional peace and justice expertise is found in country program staff dedicated to peacebuilding and justice programs as well as within partner organizations, both local and international. CRS project staff are familiar with tenets and methodologies of peacebuilding and every effort to is made to mainstream peacebuilding into all CRS programming. Key technical personnel include:
Tom Bamat is the Senior Technical Advisor on Justice and Peacebuilding for Catholic Relief Services. A sociologist with a Ph.D. from Rutgers, he has lived and worked with Maryknoll and CRS, in Brazil and the Andes. Tom serves on the Board of Directors of the Life and Peace Institute and the Steering Committee of the Catholic Peacebuilding Network. Among his writings are works on human rights, religious movements, and grassroots responses to violent conflict; including the co-edited volumes of case studies Artisans of Peace (Orbis, 2003) and Pursuing Just Peace (CRS, 2008).
John Katunga is the Regional Technical Advisor for Peacebuilding and Justice in the East Africa Region. He is experienced in peacebuilding initiatives in Africa and abroad. John was Acting Executive Director of the Nairobi Peace Initiative-Africa, a pan-African peace organization. He also was OSI Africa Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC. Born in D. R. Congo (DRC), he holds an MA in Conflict Transformation, Eastern Mennonite University (USA) and an MA and a BA in Political Science, University of Kisangani in DRC.
Julie Ideh is the Southern Africa Regional Technical Advisor for Peacebuilding and Justice. She has contributed to CRS justice and peacebuilding programs and efforts since 2001, in various parts of Africa and South Asia, covering a range of issues including extractive industries, formal and informal justice mechanisms, civil-military relations, inter-faith collaboration, gender-based violence and protection of vulnerable children. She co-edited a volume of faith-based peacebuilding case studies, Pursuing Just Peace (CRS 2008) and holds a MA in International and Comparative Legal Studies from School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Aaron Chassy is the Senior Technical Advisor for Governance at CRS HQ. Aaron has extensive experience integrating civil society participation into policy reform, especially in natural resource management and environmental policy both in the US and overseas. He has worked for both non- and for-profit development agencies as well as directly for USAID. Most recently, Aaron worked for ARD as the firm’s anticorruption program manager. He provided technical assistance and management support to the USAID/Uganda Anti-Corruption Threshold Program, which promoted private-public partnerships among national government officials, private sector and civil society representatives to prevent, detect and reduce corruption, especially in public procurement.
Francisca Vigaud-Walsh is the Sexual & Gender-Based Violence PM, spearheading the effort to incorporate SGBV prevention and response into CRS programming in humanitarian crises. Francisca has worked for several years with refugees and displaced communities in crisis settings throughout Africa. In her most recent overseas post, she served as the CRS Emergency PM in eastern Chad, where she provided disaster assistance in refugee camps. Francisca holds an MA in Conflict Management from John Hopkins University- SAIS, where she focused on ethnic conflict and humanitarian intervention. She is also an alumna of the 2006 Institute for International Mediation and Conflict Resolution symposium in South Africa.
Mary DeLorey is CRS’ Strategic Issues Advisor on Migration, based in Baltimore, and has worked for the organization for 12 years. Her primary policy focus is on Latin American regional policy concerns, including the impact of migration, internal displacement and trafficking in the region. She also has responsibility for policy coverage on trafficking in persons more globally for CRS. Prior to CRS, Mary worked with research, advocacy and policy organizations on initiatives addressing: migration, foreign policy; labor changes in the Americas and social and economic challenges confronting low income communities and workers. Mary has an MA in Sociology and a MSW in Community Organizing and Social Administration from the University of Maryland.
Rees Warne is the Strategic Issues Advisor for Extractive Industries for CRS, based in Baltimore. Much of her work is dedicated to supporting CRS’ projects and partners in developing countries to address the negative impacts of extractive industries and to promote the use of revenues from the extraction of oil, gas and mineral wealth to reduce poverty. She also works on advocacy with international financial institutions and companies to encourage transparency and improved use of corporate social responsibility funds. Rees’ background is in conflict management and rural development. Since 1990, she has been working in conflict management, and much of her work has focused on helping people build bridges between communities, government, and the private sector.