U.S. ambassador to the Holy See to speak at Notre Dame

by Michael Sweikar

Ken Hackett Ken Hackett

U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Kenneth Hackett will discuss the nature of the Holy See’s diplomatic work and the impact of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ at 12:30 p.m. March 18 (Friday) in the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Visitors Center. This event, which is organized and sponsored by the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD), is free and open to the public.

Hackett was nominated by President Barack Obama on June 14, 2013, to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See. Hackett was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and sworn in in August of that year. He previously served as president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations. He has served as an adviser to NDIGD, consulting on key issues in global development, and assisting NDIGD in high-impact global development projects with partners worldwide.

“I am delighted that Ambassador Hackett will visit Notre Dame and share his wealth of knowledge on the inspiration behind the creation of Laudato Si’ and the Pope’s message for us today,” said R. Scott Appleby, Marilyn Keough Dean of the Keough School of Global Affairs. “Ambassador Hackett is a world leader in Catholicism and global development, and his address is an ideal way to kick off a series of events at Notre Dame dedicated to exploring the intersection of environmental change, global poverty and innovative research and practice.”

Hackett has been the recipient of the University’s Laetare Medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics. Established at Notre Dame in 1883, the Laetare Medal was conceived as an American counterpart of the Golden Rose, a papal honor that antedates the 11th century. The medal has been awarded annually at Notre Dame to a Catholic “whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the Church and enriched the heritage of humanity.”

The University of Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development promotes human development and dignity among people worldwide through applied innovations, impact evaluation, education and training that helps build just and equitable societies. It is an integral part of Notre Dame’s new Keough School of Global Affairs.

Contact: Meagan McDermott, NDIGD, 574-631-2940, mmderm3@nd.edu