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Annemarie Reilly

Chief of Staff to the President/CEO and Executive Vice President, Strategy and Organizational Development

Annemarie’s role

As Catholic Relief Services’ chief of staff and executive vice president for strategy and organizational development, Annemarie Reilly leads three main functions:

  • support to the President/CEO and lead on major agency initiatives;

  • lead the agency’s strategy development, implementation and measurement across all operations and support divisions; and,

  • champion the agency’s organizational development efforts to advance strategic priorities and operational excellence.

Annemarie’s commitment to CRS

Annemarie joined CRS in 1992 in El Salvador, primarily working in the health sector. She advanced to senior management positions in Haiti, Burundi and Liberia, managing challenging programs in complex emergency environments.

She returned to CRS headquarters as the agency’s first emergency response advisor. In this position, Annemarie was instrumental in creating CRS’ first worldwide emergency response team in 1999. Subsequently, she moved to Nairobi, Kenya, to take on the role of first team leader. Under her leadership, the team responded to a variety of high-profile natural and man-made crises, providing strategic planning and technical expertise to CRS country programs. In addition to short-term assistance in the midst of disaster responses, the team provided leadership in the development of agency program quality standards, systems and training to build the agency’s overall emergency preparedness and response capacity.

After 3 years of service as regional director for Southern Africa, leading CRS’ response to a regional drought compounded by the HIV and AIDS pandemic, Annemarie returned to CRS headquarters. She served as chief of staff to the president through 2009, which included guiding agency strategy implementation, organizational learning, and staff safety and security. This was followed by 3 years as vice president for Overseas Operations during which time Annemarie oversaw three headquarters-based departments that provided emergency operations, program quality and operations support for CRS country programs around the world. In 2012 she assumed a newly created role of EVP for Strategy and Organizational Development and led the development of CRS’ current agency strategy. In May 2017, Annemarie was named Chief of Staff to the President/CEO Sean Callahan. In this role she leads major agency initiatives among other support to the President/CEO.


Annemarie holds a bachelor’s degree in government and French from the University of Notre Dame, and a master’s degree in international affairs from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, with specializations in economic and political development, and Latin American studies.

More about Annemarie

Annemarie was born and raised in New City, New York. She and her family currently live in Baltimore. They are parishioners at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore.