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2024 Washington DC Awards Gala

The SOAR! Board of Directors cordially invite you to the

38th Annual Washington DC Awards Gala
Join Us in Celebration!

Friday, November 1, 2024

Reception 6:30 pm  Dinner 7:30 pm



Kerry Alys Robinson

Catholic Charities USA

Kerry Robinson is President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA.

Kerry was the founding executive director of Leadership Roundtable and now serves as a member of its Board of Trustees. Leadership Roundtable is dedicated to promoting excellence and best practices in the management, finances and human resource development of the Catholic Church by harnessing the managerial expertise and financial acumen of senior level lay executives.

A member of the Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities and FADICA (Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities), Kerry has been an advisor to and trustee of more than 25 grant-making foundations, charitable nonprofits and family philanthropies. Kerry served as the executive director of the Opus Prize Foundation which is responsible for an annual international million-dollar prize honoring people of faith whose lives are dedicated to the alleviation of human suffering.

Kerry served as the director of development for Saint Thomas More Catholic Chapel and Center at Yale University and led a successful $75 million dollar fundraising drive to expand and endow the Chapel’s intellectual and spiritual ministry and to construct a Catholic student center, designed by Cesar Pelli, on Yale’s campus.

Kerry is the author of the prize-winning book, Imagining Abundance: Fundraising, Philanthropy, and A Spiritual Call to Service.

She and her husband, Dr. Michael Cappello, a professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at Yale School of Public Health and a professor of Pediatrics and Microbial Pathogenesis at Yale Medical School, have two children, Christopher and Sophie.

Liz McCloskey and Peter Leibold

Community Leaders

Peter Leibold and Liz McCloskey first met in 1982 in Washington DC. After college, they attended Yale Divinity School and Yale Law School respectively, then married at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in DC in 1987. They raised their three, now adult, children at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Arlington, with both serving on its parish council.

In 1988, they both joined Senator Jack Danforth’s staff. Liz worked on education, labor and health care ethics, shepherding the Patient Self Determination Act into law. Peter worked on health care and civil rights, spending significant time and energy helping enact the bipartisan Civil Rights Act of 1991.

After leaving the Hill, Liz became a columnist for Commonweal while beginning work on her doctorate in Spirituality from Catholic University. She received her doctorate while serving as the President of the Faith & Politics Institute. Peter also left the Hill to join the Catholic Health Association as its General Counsel, focusing on legislation and regulations that provided Catholic health care the freedom to deliver health care consistent with our Catholic faith.

After 15 years at the American Health Lawyers Association, Peter joined Ascension in 2014 as its Chief Advocacy Officer. Liz and Peter moved to Ascension’s headquarters in St. Louis for three years, where Liz was a Visiting Scholar at Washington University.

When they returned to Washington, DC, Liz and Peter joined Holy Trinity where– after spearheading the Five Theses for Catholic Church reform–Liz founded the “Women Who Stay,” a program that lifts up women’s experiences and leadership in scripture and the Church. Liz is a spiritual director, lay preacher, and member of the Ignatian Spirituality Project women’s team which provides spiritual companionship to women who have experienced homelessness and addiction. She teaches theology at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School in Takoma Park.

Peter has served for the last ten years as the Chief Advocacy Officer for Ascension. He will retire from his role as an Executive Vice President at Ascension on November 1, then will serve on the Board of the Ascension Foundation and plans to re-mission as a teacher, coach or possibly a chaplain. At Ascension, Peter was a leading voice for Catholic health to remain true to the charism of its founding sisters and to continue to live out their mission to “advocate for a compassionate and just society through their actions and their words.”

James D. Bishop, Esq.

Catholic Charities Legal Network
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington

Jim’s entire professional career has been serving low-income and homeless residents for close to forty years. Prior to accepting the position as Director of Catholic Charities Legal Network of DC in December 1993, he was employed for eight years at the mandatory District of Columbia Bar in several public interest positions.

Jim has directed Catholic Charities Legal Network for over 30 years. He is a parishioner of Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church in downtown DC and a third generation native Washingtonian. Jim was a family mediator in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia’s Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division for over 30 years. He has served on the Board of Governors of The John Carroll Society, the Civic Board of Directors of the Council for Court Excellence, and the District of Columbia Bar Foundation’s Scoutt Prize Committee. Among Jim’s honors include the Equal Justice Award from the University of the District of Columbia’s David A. Clarke School of Law, the Bar Association of the District of Columbia’s Suzanne V. Richards Award, the Jerrold Scoutt Prize from the DC Bar Foundation, The John Carroll Society Medal, The Archdiocese of Washington’s 75th Anniversary Cardinal’s Award, and Catholic Charities’ Griffin Award.

While Jim has been at the helm of Catholic Charities Legal Network, the program has assisted approximately 85,000 low-income and homeless District of Columbia and Maryland residents with a variety of civil law cases such as child custody, Social Security, and bankruptcy matters. He has made sure that residents are educated about their legal rights in such areas as consumer/fraud, child custody, and wills and advanced medical directives by conducting seminars at local churches, senior citizen organizations, transitional and low-barrier shelters.

Jim is magna cum laude graduate of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. He was President of Lincoln’s Alpha Chi Honor Society, and a graduate of Howard University School of Law. Jim holds a certificate from the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business for completing the Nonprofit Business Excellence Program for Catholic Leaders. Jim is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Council 224. He is a member of the United States Supreme Court, District of Columbia, and Pennsylvania Bars.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Christiano, Director of Special Events events@soar-usa.org.


November 1
6:30 pm EDT
Event Category:


Embassy of Italy
3000 Whitehaven Street, NW
Washington, DC United States
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