Since Deacon Rick Birkel, Ph.D. announced his retirement in April 2021, our board of directors have been conducting a nation-wide search for the next Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Oregon.
The search is over! We are incredibly excited and pleased to announce the hiring of our next Executive Director, Natalie Wood.
Natalie comes to Oregon from Texas, where she devoted 27 years to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, most recently serving as the Senior Vice President of Programs. In both her initial role as a counselor, to her current role, her commitment to alleviating trauma, suffering and poverty remained steadfast. She always remained close to her roots as the daughter of a single mother of Hispanic heritage; in her education, training, and practice as a licensed professional counselor; and in the integrated and active engagement of her deeply held Catholic faith.
A strong servant leader, Ms. Wood implements growth and new approaches across 15 Service lines in four diverse program Impact Areas: Strengthening Families, Nurturing and Caring for Children, Supporting Refugees and Immigrants, and Promoting Independence for Seniors, Veterans and Others. Always a champion of staff professional development, Ms. Wood manifests an organizational culture committed to equity and inclusion.
Ms. Wood is well-known and respected nationally with Catholic Charities USA as a speaker and recipient of the 2018 Management Excellence Award, as well as recognition from 2019 Women Who Mean Business, Cambridge Who’s Who of Women Executives and Professionals, and Biltmore’s Who’s Who Among Executive and Professional Women.
Ms. Wood is a terrific leader who brings a wealth of experience and energy to her new role. She will officially join us on April 18, 2022, and will assume responsibilities as Executive Director sometime around June 1, giving her time to get acclimated to Oregon, take the time to meet our partners and donors, and meet and learn about our staff, programs, culture and clients.
Everyone at Catholic Charities of Oregon is very excited to build upon our strong foundation and bring additional growth under Natalie’s leadership and vision. We thank you for the important role you play in bringing help and hope to those who need our support the most. With courage and love, we look to the next exciting chapter of Catholic Charities of Oregon and welcome you on that journey with us.