My name is Ken Hackett and this is my first blog entry as the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See. I had the honor of presenting my credentials today to His Holiness Pope Francis inside the apostolic palace, and I am excited and honored to begin this new journey. I have decided to blog about my initial days as ambassador and talk about what our embassy does in its engagement with the Holy See, and about the importance of this relationship.
The United States and the Holy See have converging global interests that span a broad range of issues. A desire to promote human rights and social justice is the foundation of a relationship that is strong, relevant, and enduring.
The focus of Pope Francis on the issues of poverty, simplicity, and human dignity offers inspiration to leaders around the world and offers great promise for continued partnership between our two countries. We both work to make a difference on a range of important global issues such as trafficking in persons, interreligious dialogue, conflict resolution, food access and security, HIV/AIDS, and care for the environment. And I look forward to deepening, and expanding where possible, that collaboration during my time in Rome.
While new to diplomacy and embassy life, I have been working in the area of international human development for the last four decades. My wife and I have lived and worked in many areas of the world. Our first child was born in the Philippines and our second was born in Kenya. I spent 18 years as President/CEO of Catholic Relief Services and a total of 40 years with the organization.
I met many inspirational faith leaders who spent their lives promoting peace and human dignity – in Sierra Leone, Haiti, the Philippines, Kenya, and all over the world. I have seen, and know first-hand, the importance of religion in people’s lives and the power faith leaders have to make positive change in their communities.
I look forward to sharing my experiences and engaging with you on this platform. More to come. KH.