John Carr is the Director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University. He founded the Initiative in 2013 to promote civil dialogue at the intersection of faith and politics, to reach out to a new generation of leaders, and to share Catholic Social Teaching more broadly and deeply. In five years, the Initiative has organized more than 60 gatherings, reaching more than 20,000 people, and involving a U.S. President, members of Congress, Vatican officials, and a wide range of religious, media, academic, and community leaders.
John has also served as a Washington columnist for America and a Residential Fellow on religion and politics at the Institute of Politics of Harvard University.
John served for over 20 years as director of the Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), directing the Conference’s public policy and advocacy efforts on major domestic and international issues as well as sharing Catholic Social Teaching on human life and dignity, solidarity, faithful citizenship, and care for creation. He previously served as Secretary for Social Concerns for the Archdiocese of Washington under Cardinal Hickey, Executive Director of the White House Conference on Families under President Carter, and Director of the National Committee for Full Employment under Coretta Scott King.
At Georgetown, John is an adjunct professor of theology and a member of the Committee on Investments and Social Responsibility (CISR). He is a member of the Board of the Law School of the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota; a founder of the Circle of Protection which advocates for low-income families; and serves as Chair of the Board for Bread for the World.
John has been a leader at the intersection of faith and public life in Washington for three decades. Under his leadership, the Initiative organized a National Convening on Overcoming Polarization, a series on “Faith and the Faithful in U.S. Politics” and a number of Dialogues on lay leadership and the sexual abuse crisis. He is the author of numerous articles and two chapters in recent books Catholics and Evangelicals for the Common Good (Wipf and Stock, 2018) and A Catholic Handbook for Preaching (Liturgical Press, 2016).
John is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. He and his wife Linda are parents of four children and six grandchildren.