Catholic Charities of Oregon Welcomes Natalie Wood as Executive Director

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PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Catholic Charities of Oregon, the official domestic relief agency of the Catholic Church in Western Oregon, has engaged Natalie Wood as its incoming executive director. Appointed with the approval of Archbishop Alexander Sample, Wood was selected by the board of directors following an intentional and thorough vetting process. Her hire was instigated by current executive director Deacon Rick Birkel's decision to retire in July 2022. Wood will join Catholic Charities on April 18 and closely collaborate with Deacon Birkel until his retirement, effective July 1.

Natalie Wood
Natalie Wood

Wood comes to Catholic Charities of Oregon from Texas, where she devoted 27 years to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. In both her initial role as a counselor to her most recent position as senior vice president of programs, her commitment to alleviating trauma, suffering and poverty remained steadfast. In addition to overseeing distinct impact areas and implementing novel approaches, Wood led disaster relief efforts and emergency COVID-19 response efforts. She is a champion of professional staff development, with a clear commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

"Natalie has a passion for the work of Catholic Charities," said Theresa Vithayathil Edmonson, board chair. "She is dedicated to community engagement and evidence-based programming to create innovative solutions, all underpinned by her strong ministry to the Catholic faith and to social justice."

"I have led through times of crisis and times of quiet," shared Wood, "but no matter the environment, the priority has always been service. I look forward to continuing to build on the programs and relationships that have made Catholic Charities of Oregon a strong community partner in Portland and throughout the entire state."

"We are grateful to Deacon Birkel for his dedication to the mission of Catholic Charities ever since his appointment in 2014," said Kathy Swift, chairperson of the search committee.

About Catholic Charities
Since its founding in 1933, Catholic Charities of Oregon has been a trusted ally of the most poor and marginalized. The agency seeks to combat poverty and injustice throughout Western Oregon by providing professional, compassionate social services aimed to develop innovative and lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. Catholic Charities of Oregon is a member of Catholic Charities USA and of Caritas International. www.catholiccharitiesoregon.org.

Contact: Tracey Mason
Phone: 503-539-6333
Email: communications@ccoregon.org

Contact: Alison Attebery
Phone: 971-716-9637
Email: alison.attebery@finnpartners.com

Catholic Charities
Catholic Charities
Cision
Cision

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SOURCE Catholic Charities of Oregon