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SCIAF Chief heads for Rome 

16 May 2023

Alistair Dutton with Pope Francis

SCIAF Chief Executive Alistair Dutton is bound for Rome, to head up the world’s second largest humanitarian organisation, Caritas Internationalis. 

The news follows a vote at Caritas Internationalis’ General Assembly yesterday, in which Alistair was elected as Secretary General by members from around the world.

Caritas Internationalis is a global network of Catholic Church-inspired development and humanitarian charities, operating in 160 countries. 

Caritas literally means love and SCIAF is Caritas Scotland. Caritas is known and respected globally. It amplifies our voice in many international forums. Through it, we are part of an amazing family of partners. The strength of this family means that SCIAF is able to reach people of a particular country within hours of an emergency and pledge our love and support.  

Commenting on his appointment, Alistair said:

“I am honoured and delighted to have been elected as Secretary General. Caritas has been my home, my family and my vocation for almost 30 years and I’m really looking forward to going on to serve it in this new role. 

“Leading SCIAF for the last nine years has been an enormous privilege.  I’ve really loved my time here. We have an amazing family of supporters, volunteers and staff and I’m always moved by the quality of its work both overseas and here at home in Scotland, and the hope and strength of the people we serve.  It’s a real testament to SCIAF that I have been invited to Rome to lead Caritas and, as I go, I am confident that SCIAF will go from strength to strength.” 

Bishop Brian McGee is SCIAF’s Bishop President and heads up its Board of Trustees. 

He said:

“I recently travelled to Ethiopia with Alistair to see SCIAF’s work in action. I was impressed with Alistair’s leadership, his relationship with our overseas partners, his grasp of the complex issues facing our sisters and brothers and how we can best accompany them. That his peers from across the seven continents have elected him as General Secretary in this vote, speaks volumes. 

“We should be rightly proud that the CEO of SCIAF - for the second time - has been chosen to lead arguably the biggest network of aid and development agencies across the world. SCIAF’s loss will be the Universal Church’s gain but, for that, we can give thanks. 

“I wish Alistair well as he leads the Catholic Church’s Caritas Confederation. I know that he will lead our service of the poor in an effective but sensitive manner. I thank our SCIAF staff and supporters for their inspiring commitment to the world’s poor. I await with excitement the next step forward for SCIAF!”