FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C. – Today Catholic Climate Covenant announced Jose Aguto as its new Executive Director while former executive director, Dan Misleh, moves into the role of Founder.
Aguto has served Catholic Climate Covenant as Associate Director since March 2017. As the new Executive Director, Aguto will help expand the Covenant’s mission of bringing to life the U.S. Catholic Church’s response to care for God’s creation and each other, especially those most vulnerable to the impacts of the climate crisis.The Covenant’s role as the national organization tasked with animating and centralizing U.S. Catholic activities related to the Vatican’s Laudato Si’Action Platform provides great opportunities to carry out this mission immediately and into the future.
“I feel blessed and honored to help lead the Covenant into this new chapter, where we know the work ahead of us to protect our shared home and future has never been more critical. We hold our faith front and center in cultivating a spirit within our programs and partnerships that will bring us together and help bridge differences within our nation and in our Church,” Aguto said.
Misleh, who founded the organization in 2006 with the support of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops, will take on the role of Founder. He will guide and grow many of the Covenant’s newer programs and help develop new strategic directions.
“As founder, and after 15 years at the helm of the Covenant, I still awaken each day excited to tackle this life-saving work,” said Misleh. “I’m proud of where the Covenant is today with such gifted staff and our growing profile. The Covenant will be in good hands under Jose’s leadership.”
Under Misleh’s leadership, the Covenant has become a national hub of partnerships, programs and advocacy for the U.S. Catholic community working on care for creation, including 20 national partners, tens of thousands of constituents, over 400 Creation Care Teams, and solar projects, including nearly two dozen Catholic institutions with solar projects completed or underway. Other highlights include: the Covenant’s leadership role in the U.S. promotion of Pope Francis’ seminal encyclical, Laudato Si’, and in 2017 the launch of the Catholic Energies program which includes the building of the largest solar array in the District of Columbia and savings to Catholic Charities of hundreds of thousands of dollars on electric costs each year. In 2019 came the launch of the Catholic Climate Declaration, signed by more than 800 Catholic institutions asking the Administration to participate in global and national solutions to address the warming climate; and the increase of collaborations with many ministries and committed constituents across the U.S. Catholic community through two national Laudato Si’conferences for Catholic leaders with Creighton University in 2019 and 2021, with a third gathering scheduled for 2023.
Chairman of Catholic Climate Covenant’s Board of Directors, Scott Hurd, said “This is a new moment for the Covenant. The board of directors believes this new arrangement will accelerate the Covenant’s innovative and important programs well into the future. Dan has built a strong foundation with solid funding, excellent staff and visionary leadership. We are confident that Jose has the skills and energy to step into the role of executive director and the board looks forward to working with him in the challenging days ahead for our nation and our planet.”
Catholic Climate Covenant is a coalition of 20 U.S.-based Catholic organizations working to increase and promote the U.S. Catholic response to climate change through faith-driven ecological Church teaching and actions.