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The National Review Board


The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops established the National Review Board during their meeting in June of 2002. The functions of the Board were revised slightly and reconfirmed in June of 2005 when the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was revised and extended through 2010. The purpose of the National Review Board is to collaborate with the USCCB in preventing the sexual abuse of minors in the United States by persons in the service of the Church.

Functions of the National Review Board:

  • Advise the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People on matters of child and youth protection specifically on policies and practices.

  • Review the work of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection and make specific recommendations to its Director, assisting the Director in the development of resources for dioceses and eparchies.

  • Oversee the completion and dissemination of the study of the causes and context of the recent crisis of sexual abuse in the Church, including periodic assessment of data and preliminary results during the course of this study.

  • Review, prior to publication, the annual report of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection on implementing and maintaining the standards of the Charter and any approval and publication to the Conference President.

  • Advise the Conference President on future members of the Board and future Directors of the Office.

  • Advise the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People on the annual audit process prescribed in the Charter, including methods, scope, and personnel.

  • Alert and inform the appropriate parties of concerns that emerge from the above responsibilities that may run counter to the spirit of the Charter.

  • Consult as requested with the Conference President, the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, the Administrative Committee, and other USCCB or relevant Church entities on matters relating to the protection of children and young people from sexual abuse.

  • Make appropriate recommendations to prevent sexual abuse of minors.

Members of the National Review Board

Francesco Cesareo, Ph.D., Chairman is president of Assumption College, Worcester, Massachusetts. He holds a doctorate in Late Medieval/Early Modern European History from Fordham University. He also was a Fulbright Scholar and studied at the University of Rome and Gregorian University in Rome. He has been president of Assumption College since 2007, and has held both faculty and administrative positions at several Catholic colleges and universities, including Duquesne University, Pittsburgh; John Carroll University, Cleveland; Albertus Magnus College, New Haven, Connecticut; and St. John's University, Jamaica, New York. He serves on several boards including the Board of Visitors of Worcester Academy and the New England Center for Children. (appointed 2012)

Kathleen Asdorian is president and managing attorney at Foundation Title, a residential and commercial real estate company in Bethesda, Maryland. She earned her doctor of law and licentiate in canon law degrees from The Catholic University of America and is an adjunct professor at CUA. She has done extensive volunteer work for the Archdiocese of Washington through the John Carroll Society and the Downtown Washington Serra Club and is postulator for the cause of beatification and canonization of Mary Virginia Merrick, founder of the National Christ Child Society. Asdorian also is a volunteer attorney for Washington's Archdiocesan Legal Network of Catholic Charities and a founding board member and current vice chair of the Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School. She also serves as vice president of the Washington archdiocesan chapter of Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice, the pontifical lay organization founded by John Paul II to promote Catholic social teaching. (appointed 2012)

Michael Andrew de Arellano, Ph.D., is a professor of psychiatry and a licensed clinical psychologist at the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center (NCVC) in the Department of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. de Arellano received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Miami and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He completed a Pre-Doctoral Internship at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina as well as an NIMH-funded Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the NCVC. De Arellano’s clinical work and research focus on treatment services for child victims of traumatic events from traditionally underserved population groups, including those from rural, economically disadvantaged and ethnic minority backgrounds. He also serves as a trainer and consultant to mental health clinics across the country to assist with the implementation and evaluation of evidence-based therapeutic interventions for child sexual abuse and other traumatic events. (appointed 2013)

Angelo Giardino, MD, PhD, MPH, FAAP, is the Medical Director for the Texas Children's Health Plan and an adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Nursing, Houston, Texas. Prior to that he was Vice President of Clinical Affairs at St. Christopher's Hospital and was a Professor of Pediatrics at Drexel University. He earned an MD and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and an MPH from the University of Massachusetts.

Giardino has a long list of awards that include the Academic Pediatric Association 2009 Ray E. Helfer Award for Innovation in Pediatric Education and the American Medical Association Physician's Recognition Award in 2006 with additional commendations in 2008-2011. He is the author of numerous research articles and books and is a frequent guest lecturer. Giardino holds membership in numerous national and international organizations including the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions and is on the National Board of Directors for Sunshine Foundation. Dr. Giardino previously served on the National Review Board from 2005-2008. He is married to Eileen. (appointed 2011)

Mary Katherine Huffman has been a Judge at the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court since 2002.  She is presently adjunct faculty at the University of Dayton School of Law, President of the Dayton Bar Association, a member of the Common Pleas Judges’ Association, and  the President of the Board of Trustees for the University of Dayton School of Law Alumni Association – to name a few.  The Hon. M.K. Huffman graduated summa cum laude from Wright State University with a B.A. in political science in 1985. She then earned a J.D. from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1990. (appointed 2014)

Coleen Kelly Mast is a Catholic author and educator. She has 23 years experience as a catechist – from serving at the parish level to presenting for the Pontifical Council on the Family in Rome. Mast is the owner/manager of an international business, Respect Incorporated, offering programs, materials, and training seminars for churches and educational institutions. Mast assisted a task force in the development and writing of the USCCB Guidelines in Human Sexuality Education and has developed chastity and character education programs for teens, parents, and teachers entitled Love and Life: A Christian Sexual Morality Guide for Teens. She authored the first public school abstinence program to be tested and approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Mast hosts a twice weekly radio program offering practical advice on life's problems from a Catholic perspective. She holds a Master of Science in Health Education from Western Illinois University and received an Honorary Doctorate in Human Letters from Quincy University in 1999. Mast is married to Ken and has five children. (appointed 2011)

Michael Montelongo is the senior vice president and chief administrative officer for Sodexo, Inc., Gaithersburg, Maryland, and has been with Sodexo since 2005. Prior to that he was appointed the 18th assistant secretary of the Air Force serving as chief financial officer and was awarded the Air Force's highest decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service. He was a career military officer serving in line and staff assignments in the United States and overseas. He holds a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and a master's degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. He is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serves on the Audit, Finance, and Analysis Committee of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Advisory Committee, where he was awarded NASA's highest decoration for Exceptional Public Service, and sits on several corporate boards. He has been featured in leading Hispanic magazines for his executive and business leadership. (appointed 2012)

Nelle Moriarty is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a specialty in chemical dependency. She has been a school counselor in Rochester Catholic Schools since 1992. She was named the Minnesota Elementary School Counselor of the Year and the Southeastern Minnesota School Counselor of the Year in 2011. She has served on the Winona Diocesan Misconduct Review Board since 2003, and she has chaired that Board since 2010. Mrs. Moriarty earned a B.A. in Psychology and English and an M.S. in Counseling and Student Personnel from Mankato State University (1974-1978). She also attended the University of Minnesota Medical School and Program in Human Sexuality. (appointed 2013) 

Fernando Ortiz, Ph.D., ABPP,  serves as director of the Counseling Center at Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington. His obtained a B.A. in philosophy from Saint John's Seminary College, Camarillo, CA, and a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology, Santa Clara University, and a Masters in Religious Studies, Gonzaga University. He holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Washington State University with a specialization in cross-cultural psychology, personality and culture, and ethnic minority mental health. He completed a post-doctoral specialization at U.C. Santa Barbara in cross-cultural counseling. Dr. Ortiz was an assistant professor of clinical psychology in the doctoral program at Alliant International University, San Diego. He is a licensed psychologist and certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology in Counseling Psychology. (appointed 2013)

Laura Rogers is a former prosecutor from San Diego County where she specialized in child homicide and child sexual molestation prosecutions. In 2006, Rogers was appointed by President Bush as the Founding Director of the Department of Justice's Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART) office, where she was responsible for the implementation of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. She later served as the Deputy Director of the Criminal Law Division of the Navy's Office of the Judge Advocate General.  Here she also served as the Director of the Navy's Litigation Track and the Legal Advisor of the Navy's Sexual Assault Prevention Training Program.  Rogers founded and served as Director of the National Institute for Training Child Abuse Professionals, training prosecutors, medical and law enforcement professionals, forensic interviewers, therapists and protective service workers on a range of topics related to child sexual, homicide and physical abuse. Currently, Rogers is a board member of the Philadelphia Archdiocese Review Board on Sexual Abuse and Pastoral Conduct. (appointed 2013)

Donald J. Schmid is a federal prosecutor with the United States Department of Justice and was awarded an Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowship in Public Policy by the New Zealand Government in 2001. He is an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States’ Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana.  Mr. Schmid has been a prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice since 1994 and has received numerous awards for his prosecution work including the Inspector General's Integrity Award. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Justice, Mr. Schmid was a trial and appellate attorney with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Schmid received his doctor of laws degree from the University of Michigan in 1985, where he graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif. He received his bachelor of arts degree in economics and philosophy from the University of Notre Dame in 1982, where he graduated summa cum laude, and where he was later an adjunct professor of law, 2001-2008. While an undergraduate at Notre Dame, Mr. Schmid was named a Mellon Fellow. Pursuant to this fellowship, Mr. Schmid worked with the Law and Psychiatry Program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and conducted his own research into patient views of confidentiality.  With the Ian Axford Fellowship, Mr. Schmid went to New Zealand to study restorative justice initiatives, including the family group conference. While in New Zealand, Mr. Schmid was hosted by the New Zealand Ministry of Justice in Wellington and several published papers regarding restorative justice.

Scott Wasserman
is a Kansas City attorney who focuses on legal issues involving children, especially abused children and children with special needs. Wasserman graduated from Harvard Law School in 1985. He chairs the Independent Review Board of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas to investigate alleged sexual abuse of minors by priests. Wasserman also chairs the board for the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, an international sponsorship organization of lay Catholics that assists poor children throughout the world. He served as president of Turner House Children's Clinic, a pediatric medical clinic for uninsured children. He also served on the board of Johnson & Wyandotte County CASA, which provides court appointed special advocates for children. Scott co-founded TeenLink, a peer to peer agency that helps teens counsel other teens against dependency on drugs and alcohol. (appointed 2014)



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