ICMC appoints new President and Governing Committee
March 8, 2018
The Council of the International Catholic Migration Commission has elected Dr. Anne Therese Gallagher as the Commission’s President. The Council also appointed a 14-member Governing Committee and ratified its Secretary General Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo.
The ICMC Council 53 voting members, who represent national Episcopal Conferences in as many countries, elected Dr. Anne Therese Gallagher, an Australian-born lawyer, practitioner and scholar whose experience spans more than 25 years (see full bio below), as the Commission’s President in Rome today.
The members of the newly appointed Governing Committee are:
H.E. Archbishop Simon Ntamwana (Burundi)
H.E. Bishop Lucio Andrice Muandula (Mozambique)
Rev. Fr. Jaison Vadassery Joseph (India)
H. E. Bishop Ruperto Cruz Santos (Philippines)
H.E. Dr. Archbishop Stephan Hesse (Germany)
Ms. Marie-Christine Ries (Luxembourg)
H.E. Bishop Guillermo Ortiz Mondragon (Mexico)
H.E. Bishop Misael Vacca Ramirez (Colombia)
H.E. Thomas Christopher Cardinal Collins (Canada)
Mr. William Canny (U.S.A)
Rev. Fr. Habib Kalakech (Lebanon)
H.E. Bishop Giorgio Bertin (Djibouti/Somalia)
Rev. Sr. Maryanne Loughry (Australia)
Rev. Fr. Julio Antonio Feliz Acosta (Dominican Republic)
Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo was ratified as Secretary General by the ICMC Council. Msgr. Vitillo had been appointed by the former Governing Committee in June 2016. A national of the U.S.A., Msgr. Vitillo is a trained social worker with a broad expertise in migration and refugee services, child protection, social services, human rights, HIV/AIDS and global health. From 2005 to 2016, he served as Head of Delegation of Caritas Internationalis in Geneva and as Special Advisor on HIV and AIDS.
Dr. Anne Therese Gallagher is an Australian-born lawyer, practitioner and scholar. An expert on migration, human rights and the administration of criminal justice, her experience spans more than 25 years and over 40 countries of Africa, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Gallagher began her international career in 1992 as a Legal Officer with the United Nations. From 1998, to 2002 she was Senior Adviser to Mary Robinson, High Commissioner for Human Rights – playing a key role in development of international laws and policies and coordinating UN agencies to that end.
Since 2002, Gallagher has continued to work closely with the UN while holding multiple leadership positions, including within the world’s largest criminal justice intervention against trafficking (2003-present). Her current posts include Co-Chair of the International Bar Association’s Presidential Task Force on Human Trafficking; Member of the International Migration Organization’s Migration Advisory Board; and Academic Adviser to Doughty St Chambers (the UK’s leading civil liberties law firm).
A practicing Catholic, Gallagher was involved, from the earliest stage, in the Vatican’s efforts to address human trafficking and is currently a member of the Archbishop of Sydney’s Taskforce on Modern Slavery.
Gallagher has lectured at many universities including Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Stanford. Her publications include many articles in major scientific journals, as well as two reference texts: the prize-winning The International Law of Human Trafficking (2010), and its companion volume, The International Law of Migrant Smuggling (2014).
Gallagher’s has received multiple awards for her work including: Australian Freedom Award (2011); U.S. Government Trafficking in Persons Hero (2012); Australian National University Alumni of the Year (2013); and Peace Woman of the Year(2015). In 2012, she was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia for her distinguished service to law and human rights.
Gallagher holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from Macquarie University; a Master of International Law from the Australian National University and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Utrecht.
Council members will be received by Pope Francis in private audience on Thursday, 8 March 2018.
The assembly is ICMC’s highest governing body and is composed of representatives of its national members, including national Catholic Bishops Conferences and Catholic-inspired institutions engaged in migration and refugee issues. It meets every four years.
The International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) protects and serves uprooted people including refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced people, victims of human trafficking and migrants, regardless of faith, race, ethnicity or nationality. Founded in 1951, it has staff and programs in over 50 countries.