Two New Leadership-Level Appointments Named for Archdiocese of Washington

Monday, February 1, 2016

Secretary for Communications and Chief Financial Officer

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, has named Edward McFadden as Secretary for Communications and Eric Simontis as Chief Financial Officer, both appointments were effective, January 11, 2016.

McFadden will lead the archdiocese’s Secretariat for Communications, which includes multiple specialty focus areas including media and public relations, digital media, multimedia production and Carroll Publishing, which publishes the Catholic Standard and El Pregonero newspapers. Created only five years ago, the Secretariat for Communications has experienced exponential growth, implementing strategies to promote the new evangelization through digital media platforms, including a redesigned website and increased use of social media tools.  “Ed brings with him extensive experience and expertise from both the private sector and government. Together with his faithful commitment to the Catholic Church, we look forward to the communications operation of this archdiocese growing and reaching new heights under his leadership,” said Cardinal Wuerl. “In particular, I hope that we can build on the excitement and momentum generated by Pope Francis’ visit to Washington a few months ago, and continue the work of the New Evangelization and our Holy Father’s call to invitation for all Christians to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus,” he said.

McFadden will serve as the senior architect for a communication strategy to support the archdiocese in its mission of sharing the Gospel message. He will be an important voice for the Church of Washington, using a variety of platforms to communicate the vision and values of the Catholic faith and its teachings.

Simontis will head the financial operations and performance of the Central Pastoral Administration as well as the parishes of the Archdiocese. He will ensure strong systems of financial controls in place and direct the external audit of the Archdiocese. Simontis will direct the internal budgeting process and also enhance and enforce finance policies and procedures of the archdiocese to maintain and improve financial operations, through collaboration with department managers and noting impact on department budgets. He will serve as liaison between the archdiocesan Central Pastoral Administration and affiliated agencies/corporations of the Archdiocese of Washington on financial matters. “Eric has both the financial acumen as well as a pastoral background,” said Cardinal Wuerl. “His experience with both public and private companies, combined with the fact that he is in formation for the permanent diaconate brings together the tools we have been looking for to help us shape the financial and administrative policies for the archdiocese.”

Simontis is in the process of relocating to the DC area from Alpharetta, Ga.  Eric is married and has two sons, 24 and 22.  He has just completed his third year of formation for the permanent diaconate and will be instituted as an acolyte in February. Simontis spent 14 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers and 16 years at various companies in Dallas and Atlanta. “I am thrilled to accept this position and be able to work, full time, in support of the Archdiocese.  My wife and I look forward to making the DC area our home and working with the dedicated personnel in the Pastoral Center,” said Simontis.

McFadden comes to the archdiocese with extensive experience in journalism, media relations and public affairs, most recently serving as vice president for public-policy communications at Verizon. Formerly, McFadden worked as a corporate and political speechwriter, as well as a senior editor for Reader’s Digest and an editorial writer and editor for The Wall Street Journal/Europe. “It is an honor to serve the Archdiocese of Washington, and to work with a talented communications team that is committed to building and strengthening our Catholic family through the New Evangelization and connecting each person with God’s call to love and mercy,” said McFadden.  A native of San Francisco, McFadden and his wife are active parishioners at both St. Agnes and St. John the Beloved parishes in northern Virginia. He also serves on the board of Aquinas College in Nashville, TN.


The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 620,000 Catholics, 139 parishes and 95 Catholic schools, located in Washington, D.C., and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

Chieko Noguchi
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