WASHINGTON (September 16, 1997) -- Mark Franken, who currently oversees refugee resettlement programs for the U.S. Catholic Conference, today was named the interim executive director of USCC's Migration and Refugee Services. He succeeds John Swenson, who leaves his post Friday, September 19.
Msgr. Dennis M. Schnurr, General Secretary of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/USCC, made the announcement.
Franken began work for the USCC as a resettlement coordinator in February 1980. He served in various capacities within Migration and Refugee Services, becoming director of refugee programs in June 1996. He will assume his new post Monday.
"In the 17 years since his arrival at the Conference, Mark has demonstrated an unswerving commitment to assisting newcomers to our shores," said Msgr. Schnurr. "I am pleased that he has agreed to oversee all of the operations assigned to MRS, from policy, to refugee resettlement to pastoral care."
In making the announcement, Msgr. Schnurr also praised Swenson, who leaves the Conference Friday after four years as MRS's executive director.
"Clearly, the Bishops owe a debt of gratitude to John for the work he has carried out in their name and for the solid foundation which he has provided for their work with migrants and refugees," Msgr. Schnurr said. "We all wish him well and Godspeed in his future endeavors."