Alistair Dutton elected new Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis
By Vatican News staff writer
Alistair Dutton is the new Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis, having been elected on May 15. A statement released by Caritas explains that he will lead the Caritas Confederation, which includes 162 national Caritas member organisations, until 2027. His election comes two days after that of Archbishop of Tokyo, Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi, as the new President of the humanitarian and development arm of the Catholic Church.
Over 25 years of experience in the field
Dutton is currently Executive Director of SCIAF (Caritas Scotland), and has over 25 years of experience in the humanitarian field, having led projects in more than 70 countries. From 2009 to 2014, he served as the Humanitarian Director of Caritas Internationalis.
Addressing Caritas’ delegates attending the General Assembly, the 11th Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis said "serving Caritas over the last three decades has been a great privilege for me. Caritas has been my home, my family, and my vocation." He added, “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.”
Dutton first began working 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.
New Vice President
Also on 15 May, Kirsty Robertson was elected as the new Vice President of Caritas Internationalis. She has been the CEO of Caritas Australia since 2019. Roberts previously held various positions at Caritas Australia including Pacific Programs Coordinator and Communications Group Leader and was CEO at Mary MacKillop.