The appointment of Dr. Agnes Thomas as Executive Director of Catholic Crosscultural Services (CCS) promises CCS strong, experienced, and compassionate leadership as we work to improve the lives of immigrants and refugees.
The appointment, effective June 11, 2018, follows a thorough search to find an ideal fit for the role, says Sylvia Samuel, who is President of CCS’s Board of Directors.
“Our search committee’s focus was to find someone with not only superior management and leadership skills but also a demonstrated commitment to helping newcomers settle successfully, and an appreciation for the unique challenges they face,” says Ms. Samuel. “In Agnes we have found a leader whose vision and mission is a perfect fit for our agency’s mandate and needs. We are very much looking forward to working with her.”
In turn, Dr. Thomas is looking forward to this new chapter in her career.
“It is a great privilege to have this opportunity to lead an organization founded on the principles of social justice, in an area where I have both passion and expertise,” she says. “I look forward to investing further in our capacities to make more people settle well and call our great city and country their home.”
In Dr. Thomas, CCS has found a leader whose extensive resume includes both frontline work with clients as well as administrative experience in staff management and development, program creation, budgets, proposal writing, and grant applications, all skills she will call on in her new role.
“It excites me greatly that there is a strong foundation and committed staff (at CCS) to take the wonderful legacy left by previous leaders and move forward with confidence and trust,” she says. “As a dreamer, I see myself working collaboratively with all who are invested in our mission to deepen our roots, enhance our capacities to increase our collective impact to be part of the change, and lead change.”
Dr. Thomas’s career dedication to improving the lives of others began in 1993 at L’Arche International, the organization founded by Jean Vanier to build communities for people with developmental and physical disabilities, where she worked for more than a dozen years in India, the United States and Canada.
After moving to Toronto with her family, she joined local charity Yonge Street Mission, where her duties included developing initiatives and self-help groups for immigrant women and families, and serving as an executive council member of Toronto South Local Immigration Partnership.
Most recently, she served as Director of Community Development and Programs at the Jane/Finch Centre, fostering and promoting innovative programs and services.