ROME, Dec. 12th, 2023 – After an extensive and diligent search process, the Board of Directors of the Laudato Si’ Movement (LSM) is thrilled to announce the appointment of Susana Réfega as the organization’s new Executive Director, effective from January 8, 2024.
With a wealth of leadership experience from her remarkable career in the Catholic international development sector and civil society, Susana Réfega notably served as the Executive Director at Fundação Fé e Cooperação (Faith and Cooperation Foundation). This CIDSE member organization was established in 1990 by the Bishops’ Conference of Portugal in collaboration with the churches of Portuguese-speaking countries. Her tenure at the helm of FEC spanned an impressive 12 years.
Susana Réfega’s involvement in various leadership roles includes serving on the board of CIDSE for several years and holding the position of Board President for the Portuguese National NGO platform for three years. Following her leadership at FEC, she shifted to academia, concentrating on the intersection of social activism and civil society. Fluent in Portuguese, English, French, Italian, and Spanish, Susana brings a global perspective and strong communication skills, aligning seamlessly with LSM’s mission.
Having undergone her own ecological conversion, Susana Réfega deeply grasps LSM’s unique mission and spirituality. Her journey into environmental stewardship commenced with a Ph.D. in Biology, guiding her into the development sector and fostering a profound comprehension of the interplay between the environment and poverty.
Moreover, Susana Réfega’s commitment to ecological justice is evident through her active volunteer participation in “Casa Velha: Ecology & Spirituality,” an Ignatian-inspired center recognized as an “ecological conversion catalyst.” Additionally, she enhanced her understanding of LSM by completing the LSA program last May, gaining valuable insights into the needs of the extensive grassroots movement served by LSM’s Secretariat.
In her inaugural message to the Movement, the new Executive Director expressed her profound joy and a deep sense of service. Drawing inspiration from the call of Pope Francis in Laudate Deum, she urged people to act “without delay in the face of the climate crisis.”
This transition is a significant milestone for LSM, signifying the conclusion of Tomás Insua’s tenure as the founding Executive Director. He will continue to play an integral role in LSM through the Assisi Project, a collaborative project between the diocese, the Franciscan families (OFM, Conventuals, Capuchins, Roman VI), the Laudato Si’ Citadel (formerly known as the “Cittadella” of Pro Civitate Christiana), FAI, and the municipality of Assisi.
Lorna Gold, the Board President of LSM, expressed gratitude to everyone contributing to LSM’s mission of bringing Laudato Si’ to life. She underscored the significance of unity in prayer and guidance with the Holy Spirit.
For media inquiries, please contact: Gabriel López Santamaría
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About Laudato Si’ Movement:
Laudato Si’ Movement (LSM) is a global Catholic organization dedicated to addressing the climate and ecological crisis. Inspired by Pope Francis’s encyclical “Laudato Si’,” the movement seeks to integrate faith, science, and action to protect and restore our common home. LSM engages with a vast network of individuals, parishes, and organizations to promote environmental sustainability, social justice, and spiritual renewal.