You are here

Shannon Senefeld

Senior Vice President, Overseas Operations

Based in Baltimore, MD.

As a licensed clinical psychologist who can speak to the impact of trauma on children, Shannon oversees CRS' global Changing the Way We Care initiative, which aims to keep children with families and out of orphanages. 

Read full bio

To arrange an interview, please contact [email protected]

Photos and Videos


Shannon Senefeld directs an international team of development experts that ensures the quality of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) programs in more than 100 countries across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. Shannon’s team includes leaders in a multitude of areas, including health, agriculture, water and microfinance.

With two decades of experience in global development, Shannon has lived and worked overseas in countries such as Haiti, Malawi, and Cameroon. Prior to assuming her current position, Shannon served as the project director for a global USAID-funded project, Coordinating Comprehensive Care for Children (4Children). There, she led a team of experts to improve the lives of children affected by HIV and AIDS in a number of countries in sub-Saharan African and Asia. Part of 4Children’s work is to “deinstitutionalize” children, promoting family care over orphanages. This is also the goal of Changing the Way We Care, a CRS initiative that Shannon oversees. In 2017, Changing the Way We Care was a finalist in the MacArthur Foundation's first-ever "100 & Change" competition, earning a $15 million grant to continue its work towards phasing out orphanages.

As a licensed clinical psychologist, Shannon specializes in child and family care. In addition to her international work, she is on the medical faculty at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital in Baltimore, MD. She has published and presented extensively on international children’s issues and the importance of strengthened family care for children’s development.

Areas of Expertise

Child and Family Care, Clinical Psychology, Deinstitutionalization of Children, Early Childhood Development, Education, Global Development, Global Health, Microfinance, Nutrition, Orphans and Vulnerable Children


Argosy University
M.A., Clinical Psychology

Argosy University 
PsyD, Clininal Psychology

The George Washington University 
M.A., International Development

Indiana University 
B.A., Political Science
B.A., French