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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.
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)
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)
Garry E. Hall is a retired U.S. Navy rear admiral who currently chairs the review board of the Archdiocese of the Military Service and is an active member of the Knights of Columbus. He is also the CEO and president of the Association of the United States Navy, in Washington. He holds a bachelor's degree in marine engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, and an MBA from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. He was designated a naval aviator and served 35 years on active duty. Operating in helicopter squadrons throughout the Pacific, he commanded two squadrons, the capital ship USS Tarawa, an expeditionary strike group, and was commandant of the Eisenhower College of National Security and Resource Strategy at National Defense University. He spent his entire Navy career operating in and managing risk. (appointed 2016)
Howard T. Healy is the senior partner at Di Renzo & Bomier Law Firm where he specializes in litigation. He is the current and first Chair of the Green Bay Diocese Independent Review Board. Mr. Healy is also a trustee at St. Margaret Mary Parish and the Finance Chairman of St. Mary's School. He previously served as a member of the Finance Committee at St. Margaret Mary Parish, the Chair of the St. Mary's School Board, and as a participant and Chair of the Green Bay Diocese Board of Education. Mr. Healy is a graduate of Marquette University. He is married and has eight children. (appointed 2015)
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)
Jean Ortega-Piron was Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in October 2011.Prior to that appointment, since 1996, Ms. Ortega-Piron had served as the Statewide Legal Guardian for all foster children in Illinois until her retirement in 2013. In that position she was the court appointed legal guardian of all abused and neglected children committed to DCFS and was responsible to the court for the well-being of the children.While fulfilling her responsibilities as the legal guardian of 100,000+ children in Illinois during her tenure, she also served as a policy formulating executive manager. Ms. Ortega-Piron was able to spearhead reform for that responsibility and create an Office of the Guardian, which advocated for the wards of the state at the executive level of that child welfare agency. From 1994 until 1996 she served as the Executive Assistant to Governor Edgar's Special Counsel for Child Welfare Services where she was responsible for coordinating and overseeing implementation of policy, plans and initiatives relating to Juvenile Court reform. Ms. Ortega-Piron holds a Bachelor's degree from Rosary College/Dominican University and a Juris Doctorate degree from IIT/Chicago Kent College of Law.She is married, has two sons and is the proud grandmother of two. (appointed 2015)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. (appointed 2014)
Ernest Stark currently serves as chair of the review boards for several religious communities including the Augustinians, Carmelites, Passionists, and Benedictines and is a member of the review board of the De La Salle Christian Brothers. He has served as a teacher and administrator in Catholic secondary schools and colleges for fifty years. He was a member of the review board of the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois, for ten years, serving as chair for eight of those years. He holds a master's degree in education from St. Mary's University, Minnesota, and a master's degree in theology from Manhattan College, New York. He has pursued additional studies at Northern Illinois University, and he received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for summer study at the University of Notre Dame. (appointed 2016)
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)
Donald Wheeler has more than forty years of public and private sector experience in managing investigative, audit and forensic resource to resolve complex issues of fact and law .Currently, he is Senior Investigator with the law firm of Hunton & Williams, LLP and previously was the Regional Director of its Turnstone Investigative Group in Washington, DC. Prior to entering the private sector, Mr. Wheeler held various senior management positions with the Office of Special Investigations, U. S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), including Deputy Director of Investigations, and Acting Director. Mr. Wheeler began his federal law enforcement career with the U. S. Department of Labor where he held a number of positions in its Organized Crime and Racketeering Program, including Special Agent in Charge of field offices in Chicago and Cleveland.Mr. Wheeler is a cum laude graduate of Michigan State University where he earned the Bachelor of Science degree in Police Administration and Public Safety. (appointed 2015)
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