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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

New CAFOD director says she is ‘coming home’

The newly announced director of International aid agency CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development) has proclaimed that it feels like she is “coming home”.

Christine Allen, who previously worked for CAFOD as a young campaigner in the late 80s, has held leadership positions at two faith-based international development organisations for the last 17 years. Since 2012, Allen has been the director of policy and public affairs for Christian Aid. As a senior leader and high-profile representative for the organisation, she has lobbied and influenced political and private sector leaders on significant policy changes on tax justice and climate justice, led senior-level external relations for CEO and other departments, held leadership roles on global and UK bodies, as well as supporting trusts, foundations and major donors initiatives. She was also responsible for theological reports underpinning Christian Aid’s policy work.

Allen was Progressio’s executive director for 11 years, from 2001-2012. Before joining Progressio, she worked for 10 years in the area of housing, poverty and social exclusion in the UK as head of public affairs at the National Housing Federation and education department co-ordinator at CHAS. Her career began as a field worker with the Justice and Peace Commission in the Archdiocese of Liverpool in 1987 and as CAFOD’s campaigns co-ordinator in 1989.

Allen said: “I’m honoured and delighted to be appointed to this role at CAFOD. It feels like coming home. Working for CAFOD as a young campaigner, I discovered Catholic Social Teaching and was hugely inspired and influenced by a Church that took action for peace and justice. The need for global solidarity today is as great as ever. CAFOD, and its thousands of supporters, stands as a powerful witness of love in a world of greed and selfishness, as we seek to end the injustices of poverty, inequality and environmental exploitation. I am immensely proud of CAFOD, its work and its role in the global Catholic family and I feel humbled to lead such an important agency of the Church.”

The Bishop of Salford, John Arnold, CAFOD Chair of Trustees, said: “I welcome Christine back to CAFOD with great joy. She is a strategic leader whose vision, energy, and deep-rooted faith and commitment to Catholic values, make her specially placed to lead CAFOD’s journey in the coming years.”

Allen will take up the post in spring 2019. CAFOD’s current director Chris Bain has temporarily delayed his retirement until this date.

Picture: Christine Allen. (CAFOD).