U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking Names Jennifer Reyes Lay Executive DirectorJune 10, 2019
June 7, 2019 Cleveland Ohio The US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking (USCSAHT) is proud to announce that it has hired Jennifer Reyes Lay as Executive Director, effective July 1, 2019. “We were blessed with a number of interested candidates for this position, and believe that Jennifer Reyes Lay brings the experience and skills needed to move USCSAHT forward in addressing this complex issue at this time,” said Sister Anne Victory, HM, President of the Board of USCSAHT.
As the new Executive Director, Jennifer brings over six years’ experience of working with faith-based nonprofit organizations, including positions as an Executive Director and Administrator. She leaves behind positions with the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and the Ecumenical Catholic Communion. While employed as the Assistant Director of the Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Office of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, Ms. Reyes Lay was deeply involved in the congregation’s work against human trafficking. In 2015, she helped create a corporate stance against human trafficking for the congregation and led their engagement of the issue. She also served as the congregation’s liaison to the USCSAHT, and in 2017 was the USCSAHT representative in Bogota, Colombia. Her tenure as the Administrator of the Office of the Presiding Bishop with the Ecumenical Catholic Communion provided her with extensive experience in the areas of administration, finance, and communication.
Prior to working with the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and the Ecumenical Catholic Communion, Ms. Reyes Lay served as the Executive Director for the Catholic Action Network. Through this position, she coordinated yearly fundraisers, implemented programming for the organization with a focus on social justice, and maintained the social media presence of the Catholic Action Network. Ms. Reyes Lay received a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and International Studies with honors from St. Louis University, and in May 2019 she received a Master of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.
The USCSAHT is a collaborative, faith-based national network that offers education, supports access to survivor services, and engages in advocacy in an effort to eradicate modern-day slavery. It serves as the designated US representative for Talitha Kum, which is the International Network of Consecrated Life Against Trafficking in Persons. USCSAHT membership includes congregations of women religious, coalitions working against human trafficking in which women religious participate, individuals such as individual sisters and lay associate members of congregations, and others who are committed to the work of eradicating human trafficking. The USCSAHT publishes the monthly newsletter,Stop Trafficking!, which is a resource used by USCSAHT members, organizations, and concerned persons to exchange information and collaborate in the fight to eliminate human trafficking.
Ms. Reyes Lay will be the very first Executive Director of the USCSAHT, thus marking a new chapter in the organization’s history. She said, “I am honored and thrilled to begin working for USCSAHT as their first Executive Director. All of the sisters and collaborators I have met over the past few years inspire me in their dedication and compassion, and I believe deeply in their vision of a world without human trafficking. I look forward to helping further the mission of USCSAHT and grow our membership and resources, because as our tagline says, ‘Ending slavery is everyone’s work.’”