Executive Director: Deacon Bernie Nojadera has served in the Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection since 2011. Formerly, he served as Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults with the Diocese of San Jose, California, from 2002-2011. He has a bachelor of arts degree from St. Joseph College, Mountain View, California; a master of social work degree specializing in health and mental health services from San Jose State University; and a master of arts in theology from St. Patrick’s Seminary and University, Menlo Park, California. He has been a member of the San Jose Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the County of Santa Clara Interfaith Clergy Task Force on the Prevention of Elder Abuse, and the County of Santa Clara Task Force on Suicide Prevention. He enjoys offering national/international workshops/training on safe environment/victim accompaniment, safeguarding, HRO (high reliability organization) principles, and topics on leadership and communication. He is married and has two adult children.
Associate Director: Molly Fara, joined USCCB staff in September 2020 after serving 8 years as the first Director of Child and Youth Protection for the Diocese of Joliet in Illinois. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Dayton, Ohio with a major in psychology and minor in criminal justice. Molly earned a Master's degree in social work from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is recognized as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has a Professional Educator License with School Social Work Endorsement. Prior work experience includes psychiatric hospital, in-patient/out-patient substance abuse treatment, residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed youth, adult protective services and employee assistance programs. She has been married for over 25 years and has four adult children.
Coordinator for Resources & Special Projects: Lauren Sarmir, joined the staff of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection in August 2019. Before joining the team, Lauren served as Advancement Operations Manager for the Pontifical North American College’s Office of Institutional Advancement. Her previous work experience includes: The Heritage Foundation, United States House and Senate, and United Kingdom House of Commons. Lauren holds a Master’s degree in International Politics, and a Bachelor’s degree in Politics specializing in Latin American Affairs/Hispanic Studies, both from The Catholic University of America. She is married and has one daughter.
Executive Assistant: Laura Garner, joined the staff of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection on January 3, 2011. Previously, Ms. Garner served as a Staff Assistant in the Office of the General Counsel with the USCCB since 2008. Ms. Garner holds a BA in Psychology from Loyola College and an MA in Art Therapy from George Washington University. Before joining the USCCB, she worked at home as a medical transcriptionist while raising four children. Other employment includes bank teller, paraprofessional, computer educator, and receptionist.