Pax Christi International, the global Catholic movement for peace and nonviolence of which Pax Christi USA is a section, is pleased to announce that Martha Inés Romero has been appointed Secretary General as of January 1, 2023.
Based in Colombia, Martha Inés has served Pax Christi International for more than 15 years, including a term on the international board. She is currently the regional coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean. She will continue in this role as she also takes up her duties as Secretary General.
“It was an honor to work with Martha Inés on the staff of the international secretariat during my four years there,” said Pax Christi USA Executive Director Johnny Zokovitch, who previously served as senior communications officer for Pax Christi International. “Her years of experience within the Church, her analytical skills, her deep love of peace and nonviolence, and her commitment to marginalized and impoverished communities are tremendous gifts to the movement. All of us at Pax Christi USA offer our sincere congratulations to Martha Inés and look forward to working with her in the future.”
Martha Inés (second from right in photo) describes herself as a “humble life-long learner,” and brings a rich depth of experience working throughout the Americas and with global partners. She studied conflict transformation at the Kroc Institute for Peace (USA) and was a member of the Catholic Peacebuilding Network. She has contributed to the transformation of Catholic teaching through promoting a culture of peace, nonviolence, and reconciliation, first with Catholic Relief Services, contributing to the Caritas Internationalis network, and then with Pax Christi International, through participation in synodal processes and the Laudato Si’ Action Platform.
She is both ecumenically and interfaith minded and works with partners across the civil society for dialogue and cooperation within communities across Latin America and the Caribbean. Her previous experience is in the aid sector, where she held international roles at OXFAM Great Britain and CRS.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to lead Pax Christi International in this challenging time,” said Romero. “I look forward to listening and learning from our dedicated members and partners worldwide. The diversity in our movement is our main strength, one that we can draw on as we transform communities through justice, peace, and nonviolence.”
Pax Christi International co-presidents Bishop (Em) Marc Stenger and Sr Wamuyu Wachira also expressed their appreciation for Martha Inés as she takes up her new role within our movement.
“I admire the great ability of Martha Inés to mobilize and unite for the sake of human rights, justice, peace, and the preservation of Creation. She’s a tireless worker, seizing every opportunity for dialogue and connection throughout Latin America and now around the world,” said Stenger.
“We thank Martha Inés for generously accepting this call to serve, and the willingness to be open to the will of God in this new role and respond to the needs of this movement at this time of our history and beyond,” remarked Wachira. She continued, recalling the words of Psalm 18, “May the Lord continue to be your rock, your fortress, in whom you will continue to find joy and hope, take refuge in situations of challenges, the Lord who will always be your shield and stronghold.”
Martha Inés Romero will replace outgoing Secretary General Greet Vanaerschot, who retires after 40 years of service to Pax Christi International in a variety of roles. There will be opportunities for the movement to welcome Martha Inés and express gratitude to Greet in the new year.