Sister Donna Markham honored as one of nation’s top women faith leaders

Alexandria, Va – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will recognize Sister Donna Markham OP, PhD, the president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), as one of the nation’s top women faith leaders. Women on the Frontlines: Celebrating Women Faith Leaders, an event that will be hosted by Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra on Thursday, March 30, will honor 15 women faith leaders for their incredible work and extraordinary leadership on behalf of humanity.

Sister Donna is the first woman to lead the U.S. domestic humanitarian work of the Catholic Church. As a national membership organization, CCUSA represents the interests of Catholic Charities’ 167 member agencies and more than 3,400 locations that serve people in need in our country. Under Sister Donna’s innovative leadership, the Catholic Charities network has experienced tremendous growth and today serves more than 15 million vulnerable people annually, regardless of their religious affiliation.  

Since Sister Donna took the helm in 2015, CCUSA has awarded more than $150 million in emergency and disaster grants alone to its member agencies. She also led the organization’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, answering the call for increased assistance to reduce evictions, food insecurity and unemployment. Earlier this year, Sister Donna visited Ukraine as the Catholic Charities network continues to assist in the resettlement of refugees from the war-torn country. Sister Donna will retire this summer. 

An Adrian Dominican sister and board-certified clinical psychologist, Sister Donna previously served as president of the Behavioral Health Institute at Mercy Health system and as president of the Southdown Institute in Ontario, Canada. She also is a former Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Congregation. 



A member of Caritas Internationalis, Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is the national office for Catholic Charities agencies nationwide. Catholic Charities USA’s members provide help and create hope to more than 15 million people a year regardless of religious, social or economic backgrounds. To learn more about CCUSA, please visit our website at