ICMC Appoints Davide Bernocchi as its New Secretary General

ICMC Appoints Davide Bernocchi as its New Secretary General

Geneva, 19 March 2024 – The International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Davide Bernocchi as its  incoming Secretary General, effective 1 June 2024. Mr. Bernocchi will succeed Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo, who nears the completion of his second term as Secretary General, having led the organization since 2016. This decision was taken by the ICMC Governing Committee during its 140th meeting, held on 18 March 2024.

Mr. Bernocchi has over 20 years of experience managing large programs in Catholic institutions in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, largely in emergency contexts which include significant numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons. He is currently serving as the Ukraine and Moldova Country Representative for Catholic Relief Services (CRS). He previously served as CRS Country Representative for Iraq, Country Representative for Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, and Program Representative for Guinea.

He has extensive experience working in the Middle East and Northern Africa, having held the role of Regional Advisor on Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Partnership Development for Caritas Internationalis and Liaison Officer to the Holy Land for Caritas Italiana. He also served as Executive Director of Caritas Somalia, during which time he reestablished the organization’s direct presence in the country.

Mr. Bernocchi brings to ICMC his extensive knowledge and familiarity with Catholic Church values and the Catholic Social Doctrine, as well as a strong understanding of United Nations organizations and of the international humanitarian sector’s major actors. He also has a robust history of engagement with interreligious and ecumenical actors, having served as Special Advisor on Ecumenical and Interreligious Partnership for Caritas Internationalis.

Before entering the international humanitarian field, Mr. Bernocchi worked as a social worker in municipal residential structures for immigrants and asylum seekers in Milan, Italy, and as a Pastoral Agent focused on interfaith dialogue. He holds an undergraduate degree in Oriental Languages and Literatures, and a postgratuate degree in Geopolitics.

“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo for his tireless efforts and his excellent work to protect and serve uprooted people worldwide over the past eight years. His leadership has been essential in providing ICMC with clear direction through recent tumultuous times. As to his successor, I am confident that the wealth of knowledge and experience that he brings to our organization will serve as a compass in years to come, and I am delighted to welcome him as the new executive head of our organization,” said Miss Christine Nathan, President of ICMC and former Asia-Pacific Regional Specialist for workers’ education at the International Labor Organization (ILO). 

“I am grateful to the ICMC Governing Committee for appointing Davide Bernocchi, who is such an experienced and committed humanitarian as well as a man of deep faith and values,” said outgoing Secretary General Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo. “I have known and collaborated with Davide for many years and am convinced that he will provide excellent leadership to the organization as it continues to accompany migrants and refugees in their journey to achieve full human dignity, to secure freedom and new hope in the future, and to make positive contributions to the communities that welcome them.”

The ICMC Governing Committee, the ICMC members worldwide, and all ICMC staff wish Mr. Bernocchi a smooth transition into his new position and Msgr. Vitillo the very best in his future endeavors.

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ICMC provides assistance and protection to vulnerable people on the move and advocates for sustainable solutions for refugees and migrants.