Charles Short To Head Up Archdiocese’s Social Concerns Initiatives

March 27, 2002

Charles L. Short, director of Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services since 1995 and a 29-year veteran of public service, has been named Secretary for Social Concerns for the Archdiocese of Washington. He will start his new position on July 1.

As Secretary, Mr. Short will be Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick’s representative in all areas of human services and social action, with responsibility for coordinating and planning the Archdiocese’s outreach to the local community. Ministries include an extensive network of agencies, such as Catholic Charities, Victory Housing, Anchor Mental Health and the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute, and initiatives in the areas of legislative outreach, pro-life activities and HIV/AIDS ministry. He also will work on strengthening the role of parishes in social justice issues, and will work on faith-based initiatives with other faith communities and with government entities.

“I cannot express how pleased I am that Chuck has accepted this position,” said Cardinal McCarrick in making the announcement. “He has such extraordinary gifts, including a deep commitment to helping those among us who are most in need, extensive professional experience in identifying and providing human services and a strong faith. He knows the Archdiocese and he has worked with us and with the Maryland Catholic Conference for years. I know he will be able to build upon the great work of Monsignor Ralph Kuehner, past secretary for social concerns, in guiding the Archdiocese’s social concerns into the future to ensure we are doing all we can for the community.”

As Mr. Short put it, “I have had a wonderful experience in my 29 years with Montgomery County, but when this opportunity arose, I realized it truly was a calling for me. I’m honored to be able to contribute to the Church of Washington and to assist Cardinal McCarrick. I’ve worked with the Archdiocese for many years on efforts to serve the people of Montgomery County so I know how committed the Church is to making a positive difference. This is a blessed opportunity for me.”

Before becoming director of Montgomery County’s HHS, Mr. Short was director of the county’s Department of Family Resources from 1983-1995; chief of the Division on Children and Youth from 1980-1983; and a program manager for that same division from 1973-1980. He also was a teacher at Holy Trinity School in Washington, DC from 1969-1973; and was a mental health counselor with Boys and Girls Homes of Montgomery County, Inc. from 1970-1973. Mr. Short currently is a part time professor with the University of Maryland School of Public Affairs.

Mr. Short is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds a master’s in education from The Catholic University of America. Among his numerous community service activities, he serves on the Board of Governors of the Maryland Catholic Conference and the Alumni Admissions Program at Georgetown University and the University of Maryland School of Public Affairs mentoring program. In the past, he has served on the Pastoral Council and the Inclusion Education Committee of the Archdiocese of Washington.

Last year, the National Association of County Human Services Administrators recognized him with the organization’s first ever Award for Individual Achievement. Mr. Short also has been honored twice by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington and received the Lehrman-Pikser Award from the Jewish Social Service Agency of Greater Washington. He has received numerous citations and awards from entities such as the Maryland Governor’s Advisory Board on Homeless, Maryland State Senate, Maryland House of Delegates, City of Rockville, African American Employees Association, Community Ministries of Montgomery County and the National Association for Community Leadership.

A resident of Rockville, Maryland, he has been married to Maureen O’Donnell Short for 27 years and has three children. He attends St. Mary’s Catholic church in Rockville.

Susan Gibbs
Office of Communications
[email protected]