Executive Vice President, Charitable Giving & Awareness
Michael R. Wiest is the Executive Vice President for Charitable Giving & Awareness at Catholic Relief Services. He oversees private giving to the agency. He has held a number of key leadership positions with CRS in a career that spans more than three decades.
Mr. Wiest joined CRS in 1973 and served for 20 years in Africa and Asia as Project Manager in Senegal; Country Representative for Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Indonesia and Morocco; and Regional Director for East Africa.
In 1993, he was appointed Deputy Executive Director at CRS World Headquarters in Baltimore responsible for all overseas operations. After seven years in that position, he left CRS for a year to serve as Executive Director of the Franciscan Youth Center, an inner city outreach program in East Baltimore.
In October 2001, Mr. Wiest came back to CRS as Major Gifts Officer for the Mid-Atlantic Region. In this position, he worked closely with CRS' American constituency, complementing a career of overseas operations management.
Mr. Wiest was appointed Chief of Staff in October 2002 and Chief Operating Officer in June 2004. In these positions, he acted as the deputy to CRS President Ken Hackett for over five years.
In January 2007, Mr. Wiest was appointed to his present post of Executive Vice President for Charitable Giving & Awareness. In this position, he guides CRS' effort to serve Catholics in the United States in their efforts to live their faith in solidarity with the poorest of the poor overseas through charitable giving.
Mr. Wiest has served as President of Caritas North America and Vice President of Caritas Internationalis.
He is a U.S Army veteran and is active in four veterans' organizations. He is a member of St. Ignatius Church in Baltimore.
He has a B.A. in English from Fordham University and an M.A. in English Literature from Duquesne University.