Fordham Conversations: Joseph Kelly a Commitment to the Service

by Robin Shannon
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Chris Taggart

Service of faith through international peace and development

Joseph P. Kelly has spent over 8 years working with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in a variety of positions in Emergency Response, Agricultural Development, Education, and Health Care Systems in some of the poorer and more conflict torn areas of the world

He has worked in a number of complex humanitarian and development environments, recently in Afghanistan and Haiti and currently on the border between Turkey and Syria. Mr. Kelly has held a number of senior level field based management positions with CRS.

Kelly was recently awarded Fordham’s Swanstrom-Baerwald Award.  The Swanstrom - Baerwald Award also honors the memory of Professor Friedrich Baerwald (1900-1989) and Bishop Edward E. Swanstrom (1903-1985). Professor Baerwald was a member of the German Catholic Party and was an official in the German Labor Ministry during the end of the Weimar Republic. With the rise of National Socialism, Professor Baerwald had to flee Germany and became a professor at Fordham University. Under Professor Baerwald's tutelage, the then Father Swanstrom earned his doctorate by writing on the problems of waterfront laborers in New York during the 1930s. In the aftermath of the destruction and carnage of World War II, Bishop Swanstrom went on to help found Catholic Relief Services which he then led as Executive Director from 1947 until 1976.

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