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New chair of US bishops' National Review Board is Obama donor

Catholic World News - January 12, 2009

Cardinal Francis George, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has appointed Diane Knight, retired executive director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, as the new chair of the National Review Board. Knight has been a member of the National Review Board since 2007.

Knight holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. A former member of the Code of Ethics Task Force of Catholic Charities USA, Knight serves on the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s Community Advisory Board, which advises the archbishop and the archdiocesan victim assistance coordinator.

As Catholic World News reported in 2007, Knight donated $200 to the Democratic National Committee in 2005. According to the Huffington Post’s FundRace 2008, Knight donated $284 to President-elect Barack Obama’s campaign during the third quarter of 2008.

Knight will succeed Judge Michael Merz, whose term as chair began in 2007 and expires in June. His tenure, according to Cardinal George, was marked by an “excellent and collaborative manner.” Previous chairmen include former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating (2002-3); Nicholas Cafardi (2004-5), dean of the Duquesne University Law School; and Patricia O’Donnell Ewers (2005-7), former president of Pace University. Illinois Justice Anne Burke served as interim chair after the resignation of Governor Keating.

The US bishops established the National Review Board at their 2002 Dallas meeting. Its purpose, according to its Web site, is “to collaborate with the USCCB in preventing the sexual abuse of minors in the United States by persons in the service of the Church.”

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