Between Popes and Presidents: American Diplomacy to the Holy See

The former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See reflects on the current state and future prospects of the diplomatic relationship between the United States and the Vatican.

Date & Time:

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM


O'Shaughnessy Educational Center (OEC) Auditorium

Kenneth F. Hackett was the United States Ambassador to the Holy See from 2013 to 2017. A native of West Roxbury, Massachusetts, Ambassador Hackett graduated from Boston College in 1968. After serving in the Peace Corps (Ghana), he joined Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in 1972, serving in a variety of posts throughout Africa and Asia. As the CRS regional director for Africa, he managed the organization’s response to the Ethiopian famine in 1984-5 and supervised CRS operations during the crisis in Somalia in the early 1990s.  He was named president of CRS in 1993, a position he held for 18 years. From 1995 to 2004 Ambassador Hackett also served as the North American President of Caritas Internationalis, the association of humanitarian agencies of the Catholic Church. He also served on the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the Vatican office that coordinates the Church’s charitable work. From 2004 to 2010 he was on the Board of Directors of the Millenium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. foreign aid agency dedicated to fighting global poverty. He also served as a member of former President George W. Bush’s Global Poverty Task Force. 

Ambassador Hackett holds honorary degrees from many Catholic universities, and in 2012 was the recipient of the University of Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, the oldest and most prestigious award given to American Catholics for service to Church and society.


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