Welcome Susana

Susana Réfega is Laudato Si’ Movement’s new Executive Director

After nine years as founding executive director, Tomás Insua will be transitioning out of his role to focus on other projects within LSM. We are excited to welcome Susana Réfega as LSM’s new Executive Director effective January 8, 2024. Susana, a Portuguese native of Lisbon, comes to LSM with extensive leadership experience in the Catholic international development and civil society sector. She also holds a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from René Descartes University in Paris.

Greetings from Susana to the LSM Family

Susana’s Journey

Susana Réfega has built her career working in various non-profit Catholic organizations, including 12 years as executive director of the Faith and Cooperation Foundation in Lisbon. She has also served in other leadership roles at CAFOD, UK (Head of Program Development and Funding and strategic development consultant), CIDSE, Brussels (member of Program Managers’ Forum and the Management Team), CONCORD, Brussels (Member of the Political Steering Committee). She has been a volunteer at the Association of Ecology and Spirituality Casa Velha since 2012. She has volunteered in countries such as Angola, Mozambique, and Timor Leste. She served as President of the Board of the Portuguese Platform of NGOs. She is also a researcher at the Global Office of the Center for African and Development Studies in Lisbon. Additionally, she was a professor of various subjects at the School of Economics and Management in Lisbon and the Portuguese Catholic University.

Her studies

She holds a degree in Veterinary Medicine from the Technical University of Lisbon; has a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from René Descartes University in Paris; a master’s degree in Development, International Cooperation, and Humanitarian Aid from the University of Sorbonne in Paris; and a postgraduate degree in Leadership and Executive Management for non-profit organizations from AESE Business School in Lisbon. Additionally, she is fluent in five languages.

Get to know Susana

An excerpt from her motivation letter to work with the Laudato Si’ Movement

“Lisbon, August 5th, 2023. World Youth Day Vigil Prayer. Along the wide Tagus River, I lay on the ground contemplating the summer sky. Pope Francis’ words were still echoing in my heart when the screening of the film “The Letter” began. Although I was already familiar with the film, watching it there once again, in Campo da Graça, together with over a million young pilgrims from across the world, deeply moved me. The protagonists’ personal stories, the dialogue with Pope Francis and the overall message of “The Letter” resonated, on that particular night, as a renewed call from God. A call to continue my personal, professional, and spiritual journey of ecological conversion. A call for a discernment of where God is calling me today. It was after this moving spiritual experience, and combined with a structured discernment process, that I decided to apply for Laudato Si Movement’s (LSM) Executive Director position.”

Leave a welcome message for Susana

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the Farm of Francesco
6 months ago

Congratulations, Susana! Looking forward to collaborating closely with LSM under your leadership, especially in the agricultural space!

BONNY OBOH
BONNY OBOH
6 months ago

Welcome to LSM my ED.

We are glad to have you join the great movement. We are ready to work with you to see that LSM achieve its objectives.

Welcome once again.

Bonny Rex Oboh
LSM Chapter Coordinator
Laudato Si Movement – Nigeria

Seamus Mc Donald
6 months ago

Congratulations Susana. We in Unum Omnes look forward to supporting you on our Laudato Si journey

Bob Castagna
Bob Castagna
6 months ago

Congratulations, Susana. Welcome to leading and walking with the Laudato Si’ community during this challenging time in human history. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, let’s pray, walk, and work in hope with all people of goodwill to save Mother Earth for future generations. May God bless you and the community’s efforts.

Stuart L Smits
6 months ago

Wishing you an inspired journey as you take up the enormous challenges surrounding healthy community development. You are not alone. Blessings.

Christopher J.A Coutinho
Christopher J.A Coutinho
6 months ago

Brava & Welcome Susana!

How exciting for us all!
That you take on the role as LSM’s new Executive Director on January 8, the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, is of special significance I think.
Just as ‘Water poured over the body of a child in Baptism is a sign of new life’ LS #235, may you bring new life to the movement.
Laudato Si’

Chris J.A. Coutinho
LS Animator Nairobi, Kenya

Burka Bulasho
Burka Bulasho
6 months ago

“Congratulations! You’re going to be an amazing addition to this LSM Family.”

Mary Soh
Mary Soh
6 months ago

Congrats Susana! We are indeed blessed! Looking forward to journey the LSM race together to hear the cry of the Poor and the of Mother Earth-Universe and all beings!
LS El Paso, TX

Lu Doyle
Lu Doyle
6 months ago

WELCOME, Susana! You are the perfect person for this position, it seems. Your mastery of 5 languages and your experience as a scientist and a person of faith and justice are all such assets for helping us pull all together, at the same time. Thank you for taking the helm at LSM! The Spirit is moving over the waters.

Dino
Dino
6 months ago

Congratulations Susana…..looking forward to working with you from South Africa Laudato Si Swellendam The Catholic Sustainble Institute

Last edited 6 months ago by Dino
Marjory Louis-Mard
Marjory Louis-Mard
6 months ago

May the Creator continue to guide you in your mission and protect you!! Peace and blessings💦🌟🌱🌻🌝🌬️💥☘️🇭🇹

Tom McAuley
Tom McAuley
6 months ago

Hello Susana,
A warm welcome to you from our LS Water Action Group in Ottawa. We participated in a Canada-wide zoom a few months ago and I quickly realized seeing the age of the participants that we really need to engage youth, and in concrete activities. I see your experience with Cash Velha, and I can think of other LS ch.6 related examples such as the Eco-camp of Economy for the Common Good. I discovered that a movement of fellow Christians (ARocha Int.) has decades of experience in concrete conservation activities with youth and a few of us will be meeting with one of them next week at a farm nearby. I do hope synergies can be created all over so that the LS movement everywhere can recruit and help nourish youth along the way.Think of the million+ that met Pope Francis at WYD in Portugal this year!
Blessings and peace to you,
Tom McAuley

Thomas A. Caffrey
Thomas A. Caffrey
6 months ago

Welcome to your new position, Susana!
From Portugal to “The World”! We are all now
your “campo.” May our Father provide you
with bushels of with wisdom of Solomon and
barrels and barrels of patience! Amen!
Abrazos!

Anita Nana Okuribido
6 months ago

I heartily and warmly congratulate as I welcome you to the green LSA Family. I pray that your wealth of experience will transform the movement and all of us the LSA Animators to resonate with the Pope’s vision and your mission all your tenure. Good luck and God bless. Warm Regards from Dr Anita Nana Okuribido President Women in Renewable Energy Association. Animator from Nigeria

Antony Selvaraj A
Antony Selvaraj A
6 months ago

Hearty congratulations to Dear Susanna! May you be one for progressive global development in upcoming years.
Antony Selvaraj A

Ines Barral
Ines Barral
6 months ago

Parabéns Susana!!! Que boa noticia. Continuamos perto! Desejo-te o melhor para esta nova posição!

Sr. Dumka Michael MMM
Sr. Dumka Michael MMM
6 months ago

Congratulations 🎊 Susana. May the God of Creation guide abd lead you. 🙏 Amen

James Van Camp
James Van Camp
6 months ago

The vast resources of the church can be invested in the solution to Climate Change by capturing carbon

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Mercy
Mercy
6 months ago

Hearty welcome dear Susanna. Looking forward for a meaningful interaction and cooperation. Thanks, Sr. Mercy