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Jesuit Social Research Institute names new director

Loyola press release - March 2, 2009

Loyola University New Orleans President Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D., and Jesuit Provincial the Very Rev. Mark A. Lewis, S.J., announce the appointment of the Rev. Fred Kammer, S.J., J.D., as director of the Jesuit Social Research Institute.

Housed in the College of Social Sciences, JSRI is a collaborative project of Loyola University and the Jesuit New Orleans Province. JSRI offers research, social analysis, theological reflection and practical strategies for improving the social and economic conditions of the southern United States and in select parts of the Caribbean and Latin America, with particular focus on issues of poverty, race and migration in the light of Catholic social teaching.

Kammer succeeds sociologist the Rev. Edward B. Arroyo, S.J., Ph.D., the founding director of JSRI. Arroyo has been called to be the next rector of the Jesuit Community at Spring Hill College, in Mobile, Ala. Kammer will begin his work with JSRI March 1.

Kammer, who is an attorney, author and activist, has more than 25 years of experience working in legal and social services fields. From 2002 to 2008, Kammer served as provincial of the New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesus, leading 220 Jesuits working in 10 states in the south and in six foreign countries. He is a former visiting scholar at Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University and was the founding chairman of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps: South.

From 1992 to 2001, Kammer was president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, the largest network of voluntary human services agencies in the nation. In 1998 to 2000, Kammer was named to the NonProfit Times’ Power and Influence Top 50 list.

Kammer also served as policy adviser for health and welfare issues in the Department of Social Development and World Peace at the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops; executive director of Catholic Community Services of Baton Rouge, La.; director of the Senior Citizens Law Project of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society; and director of social ministries for the New Orleans Province.

Kammer is the author of two books, “Doing Faithjustice: An Introduction to Catholic Social Thought” and “Salted With Fire: Spirituality for the Faithjustice Journey,” and a number of articles on social concerns and theological reflection.

College of Social Sciences Dean Luis Mirón said Kammer’s experience will benefit the college as it works to fulfill its Jesuit social justice mission.

“The College of Social Sciences welcomes Father Kammer and believes that he will help provide leadership in translating research into social policy,” Mirón said.

The New Orleans native received a Bachelor of Arts from Spring Hill College, a juris doctorate degree from Yale University, and a master’s degree in divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology at Loyola University of Chicago. He holds honorary doctorates from Fairfield University, Gonzaga University, Creighton University, Spring Hill College and the University of San Francisco.

For more information on the Jesuit Social Research Institute, call 504-864-7746 or visit http://www.loyno.edu/jsri/. For more information on Loyola’s College of Social Sciences, contact Dean Luis Mirón at lmiron@loyno.edu.