Who We Are

Our Staff

Michele Dunne, OFS

Michele Dunne, OFS

Executive Director

Michele Dunne OFS is a professed Secular Franciscan. Before coming to FAN, her career focused on the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy. From 2006 until 2021, she headed programs focused on peace, human rights, and democracy in the Middle East at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Atlantic Council. Before that, she served for nearly 20 years in the U.S. Department of State, including assignments in Jerusalem and Cairo. She holds a Ph.D. from Georgetown University and lives in Washington DC with her husband.

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Sister Marie Lucey, OSF

Sister Marie Lucey, OSF

Associate Director

Sister Marie Lucey, OSF (of FAN Institutional Member Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia) has been with FAN since 2011, advocating for immigrant rights, gun violence prevention, human trafficking and other social justice and peacemaking issues. She also coordinates and communicates with FAN’s institutional members. From 2003-2011, Sr. Marie served as Associate Director for Social Mission of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). Prior to working with LCWR, Sister Marie served for six years as her community’s Congregational Minister (President), following many years as Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Justice and Peace Coordinator, and educator. She has participated in delegations to Nicaragua, El Salvador, Mexico, and a CRS delegation of women religious to Syria and Lebanon to learn first-hand about the Iraqi refugee crisis in order to promote awareness, advocacy and assistance on their return.

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Gabriela Martinez

Gabriela Martinez

Associate of Campaigns

Gabriela Martinez grew up in Allentown, PA to a Peruvian-Catholic household where she developed a passionate voice for the rights of migrant and poor communities, as well as ensuring the voice of democracy and voting. During her time in university, she was active in biological research and ecological studies in New England. Gabriela completed her degree in Environmental Science and Peace & Justice Studies at Xavier University, where she was introduced to active Jesuits and Franciscans through Bellarmine Chapel. Since then, she has volunteered with a vibrant community of inner-city youth in Washington D.C. as part of a school partnership program with AmeriCorps. Her combined experiences as the daughter of a migrant family and working with youth has made her a passionate advocate for protecting the safety, dignity, and voting rights of all people who call the US “home”.

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Sister Maria Orlandini, OSF

Sister Maria Orlandini, OSF

Director of Advocacy

Sr. Maria Orlandini OSF, born in Italy, joined the Canossian Daughters of Charity and after formation was sent to the North American Province in Albuquerque, NM for almost 25 years. She has a Masters in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University, Chicago and has served in parish ministry, as Youth and Young Adults Director, Director of Faith Formation, Pastoral Associate and her community’s Director of National/International Volunteer program.   As part of different committees she has been privileged to travel for meetings and experiences in the Philippines, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico as well as Tanzania, Malawi, Uganda and Kenya. In these countries she believes she was privileged to get to know first- hand the poverty and injustices that keep people and countries poor as well as the warmth of their welcome, the simplicity of their lives and the depth of their trust in God.

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Nora Pfeiffer

Nora Pfeiffer

Director of Franciscan Justice Circles

Nora Pfeiffer is a returned missioner with Franciscan Mission Service who was in mission in Cochabamba, Bolivia from 2009 to 2012. After which she returned to Bolivia to continue volunteering and working with the Bolivian Franciscan Family’s JPIC movement. From 2014 to 2017 Nora worked for Franciscans International as a Latin American Focal Point, serving as a bridge between the offices in New York City and Geneva and the Franciscans in Latin America. Working with Franciscans from all over the region and getting to know their struggles, missions and goals was a true gift to her. She now lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and their daughter.

In the April 2021 issue of St. Anthony’s Messenger, Nora was featured in the Followers of St. Francis Article. Read it here.

Contact Nora →

Sister Louise Lears, SC

Sister Louise Lears, SC

Creation Care Advocacy

Sister Louise Lears is a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati and a native of Baltimore with a passion for justice rooted in Gospel values. She has a Master’s in Theology from St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore and a PhD in Health Care Ethics from St. Louis University. Sr. Louise has ministered as a hospital chaplain, medical ethicist, adjunct faculty in several universities, and a Congregational Leader for eight years with the Sisters of Charity. Experiences in Cuba, Guatemala, and El Salvador opened her eyes and her heart to the needs and hopes of people most often left out.

Contact Sister Louise →

Janine Walsh

Janine Walsh

Communications Coordinator

Janine joined FAN in 2012 as our Communications Coordinator. Working closely with all FAN staff, she develops and publishes our electronic newsletter, maintains our Social Media, coordinates the frequent updates of our projects and actions on our Facebook and Twitter pages as well as updates the articles and postings to our website. Janine serves as our liaison to the Board of Directors and helps out with development. Prior to joining FAN, she was a travel agent and customer service representative. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and three daughters, where she works from her home.

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Merwyn De Mello

Merwyn De Mello

Advocacy Associate

Merwyn is Kenyan-born of Indian ancestry. He is a peacebuilder and community organizer with several years of international experience accompanying communities experiencing violence and supporting community-driven peacebuilding. A focus over the years, including presently in the US, has been on accompanying refugees and migrants through their resettlement and asylum processes.

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Br. James LaGrutta, OFM

Br. James LaGrutta, OFM

Advocacy Associate

Br. James LaGrutta was born and raised in the mid-Hudson Valley of New York. In 2011, he graduated from Siena College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and in 2012, he received his Masters in Public Policy from George Mason University.

Br. James professed his final vows with the Order of Friars Minor in 2022 and works at the St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia, which serves guests experiencing poverty. His work at FAN focuses on advocacy related to addressing poverty and homelessness.

Contact Br. James →

Eli McCarthy, PhD

Eli McCarthy, PhD

Peace Fellow

Eli McCarthy has worked on direct advocacy, mobilization, and strategic campaign leadership experience influencing U.S. policy as the Federal Policy Senior Advisor for the Catholic Labor Network and Director of Justice and Peace for the CMSM, which is the leadership conference of the U.S. Catholic men’s religious orders. He presently serves on the steering committee of the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, a project of Pax Christi International and is also a professor at Georgetown University in Theology as well as Justice and Peace Studies.

Contact Eli →

Our Board

Mr. Derek E. Nolan (President)
Managing Director, Merrill Lynch

Eva Castillo (Vice President of Mission)
Director NH Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees

Fr. James Gannon, OFM (Vice President of Development)
Order of Friars Minor, Our Lady of Guadalupe Province

Sr. Mary Kathryn Dougherty, OSF (Treasurer)
Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia

Fr. Michael Lasky, OFM Conv. (Secretary)
Franciscan Friars Conventual

Maurizio V. Cattaneo
Co-Founder & CEO, Artemis Biosystems, Inc.

Rod Colburn
Deutsche Bank

Fr. Paul Lininger, OFM Conv.
Our Lady of Angels Province JPIC Director

Mr. James Lund

Sr. Margaret Magee, OSF
Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, NY

Sr. Melinda Pellerin, SJ
Pastoral Minister, Holy Name Parish

Fr. Mark Reamer, OFM
Siena College

Michele Dunne, OFS (Ex Officio)
FAN Executive Director

Institutional Members

School Sisters of St. Francis of Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee, WI

Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross
Merrill, WI

Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi – Lake Franciscans
St. Francis, WI

Sisters of St. Francis of Clinton, Iowa
Clinton, IA

Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross
Merrill, WI

Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Family
Dubuque, IA

Sisters of St. Francis of Holy Name Province of Stella Niagara, NY
Stella Niagara, NY

Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate
Joliet, IL

Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities
Syracuse, NY

Sisters of St. Francis of Oldenburg, IN
Oldenburg, IN

Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity of Denver, CO
Denver, CO

Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity of Redwood City, CA
Redwood City, CA

Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity of Stella Niagara
Stella Niagara, NY

Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration of Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs, CO

Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia
Aston, PA

Sisters of St. Francis of Rochester, MN
Rochester, MN

Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, OH
Sylvania, OH

Sisters of St. Francis of the Providence of God
Pittsburgh, PA

Sisters of St. Francis of Tiffin, OH
Tiffin, OH

Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis
Stevens Point, WI

Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother
Oshkosh, WI

Third Order Regular Franciscan Friars, Province of the Immaculate Conception (TOR)
Minneapolis, MN

Third Order Regular Franciscan Friars, Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (TOR)
Loretto, PA

Third Order Society of St. Francis, Province of the Americas

Wheaton Franciscans—Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary
Wheaton, IL

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