Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Representing Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, Maryknoll Sisters, and Maryknoll Lay Missioners
  • Golden calf on Wall Street
  • Sri Lanka children - Jim Stipe
  • Seedbag
  • corn bags
  • Altar in Palestine - R Rodrick Beiler

Staff and volunteers

Gerry_LeeGerry Lee, executive director, joined the staff in May 2013. He, his wife Patti McKenna and their three daughters lived and worked in an urban barrio in Venezuela with the Maryknoll Lay Missioners from 1984-94, where Gerry focused on community organizing and human rights advocacy. He then served on the staff of the lay missioners, including several years on its leadership team, until 2006. He helped organize the first International Encounter of Catholic Lay Mission Organizations, held in Paris, France in 2002. In recent years, Gerry has been part of the food justice movement in the United States, practicing urban farming in inner city Philadelphia. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Gerry received his Masters of Divinity degree from Weston Jesuit School of Theology.



Frank_BreenFather Frank Breen, MM, program associate, works at the New York office as Maryknoll NGO representative at the United Nations where the Maryknoll Sisters and the Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers have consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). [Both organizations are also affiliated with the UN Department of Public Information (DPI).]  Fr. Breen was ordained in 1970 and for the next twenty-nine years he worked in Kenya, in three parishes in various parts of the country, and as the foreign correspondent for Maryknoll Magazine for five years, based in Nairobi. In 1999, he returned to the United States and did Maryknoll Development work for eight years. In 2007, he began living with his mother, while doing a nine-month sabbatical on environmental readings. In 2008, he embarked on writing the History of Maryknoll in Africa, a five-volume production that took nine years. After his mother died in 2013, he moved to Maryknoll, New York in 2014. In September 2017, he joined the OGC staff. Fr. Breen lives at Maryknoll, New York and works with religious groups doing advocacy and educational work in conjunction with the United Nations.

Anna_EngelmannAnna Engelmann, office manager, has had a varied career, from disaster relief with the American Red Cross to conflict resolution with an internship in Palestine to international law at the Office of the Legal Advisor to the President in Eritrea. She has a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Sociology and Criminal Justice and an M.A. from American University in Ethics, Peace and Global Affairs. She has training in mediation and is particularly interested in restorative justice and the role of empathy in conflict resolution. Anna is also a beekeeper and lives in the Moyaone Reserve in Accokeek, Maryland.

Susan GunnSusan Gunn, communications manager, first joined the  staff as the office manager in 2012. Her previous overseas experience was in mainland China beginning in 1991. While there, she studied Chinese in Beijing and worked in several different parts of the country. From 1993-97 she taught English to middle school teachers at rural teacher-training colleges in Fujian, Anhui, and Jiangsu provinces, sponsored by the Amity Foundation, the largest charity in China, and the National Council of Churches in the U.S.A. Susan and her husband also worked as short-term volunteers at Prem Dan, the house for the destitute and dying, run by the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata, India. Susan has a Master’s degree in International Development Management from American University.
Dave_KaneDave Kane, researcher for the Faith-Economy-Ecology project, works for the MOGC in João Pessoa, Brazil. A Maryknoll lay missioner from 1995 to 2005, Dave served in Brazil for 10 years working with recyclers in city dumps and with the Jubilee Brazil campaign. He then was assigned to the MOGC for seven years. Currently, Dave follows issues related to economic justice, particularly around commodity speculation, trade, Latin America and ecological economics.

Chloe_SchwabeChloe Schwabe is the director of the Faith-Economy-Ecology project. For more than a decade, Chloe has lived in Washington, D.C. and worked for faith-based organizations to educate and advocate for ecological and economic justice, immigration reform, and human rights. Chloe has lived in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Colombia to study environmental and social justice. She has also traveled throughout Central America. She has a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Hispanic Studies from Mills College in Oakland, CA and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Chloe enjoys hiking, cycling, gardening, and a good cup of coffee.

Roni_SchweyenSr. Veronica (Roni) Schweyen, MM, originally from North Dakota, celebrated her 50 year jubilee with the Maryknoll Sisters in 2013. Her first assignment was Hawaii, but soon after she was sent to Tanzania where she taught in secondary schools, directed religious education programs, and served as a pastoral minister. In the early 1990s, she began her ministry with people living with HIV and AIDS, an area in which she worked until returning to the U.S. to volunteer with the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns in 2011.

Claris_ZwarevaSr. Elizabeth (Claris) Zwareva, MM, program associate, works at the New York office as Maryknoll NGO representative at the United Nations where the Maryknoll Sisters and the Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers have consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). [Both organizations are also affiliated with the UN Department of Public Information (DPI).] A native of Zimbabwe, Elizabeth served in Bolivia from 1986 to 2010 where she was introduced to the area of bioethics and worked at the Institute of Bioethics of the Catholic University of Bolivia. In 2002, she returned to the U.S. and obtained a Masters in bioethics at Case Western Reserve University. She also studied Research Ethics at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Bioethics (CIEB) of the University of Chile. She then returned to Bolivia where she conducted a pilot study on the existence of ethics committees in Bolivia and later published the research results in the Revista Acta Bioetica. She believes that bioethical analysis ought to be an integral part of research that seeks to further social development and in this way promote the wellbeing of the earth and the community of life. Elizabeth enjoys music and art as part of integral living.

Volunteers include Fr. Jack Sullivan, MM, who follows Israel-Palestine for the office, and Sr. Mary Ann Smith, MM, who follows ecology/U.S. energy policy and human trafficking for the office.