The Kino Border Initiative (KBI) Board of Members and Board of Directors announce that Joanna Williams will become the next executive director of the Kino Border Initiative. On March 1st, she will replace Fr. Sean Carroll, S.J. who has been serving in this role for the past twelve years.
Joanna has served as the KBI’s Director of Education and Advocacy for nearly 6 years and in that time has designed and led programs critical to KBI’s mission, including the KBI-Florence Project legal defense partnership. She approaches her work with a deep commitment to binational and regional collaboration, including through her leadership role in the advocacy work of the Jesuit Migration Network of Central America and North America. She first joined the KBI community a decade ago when she served as a full-time volunteer for several months. After that experience, she accompanied migrants in a variety of capacities including through Fulbright research on the reintegration of returned and deported migrants in the Mexican States of Jalisco and Puebla and work on the ACLU of Arizona’s border rights program. She is a summa cum laude graduate from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with a Bachelor of Science in International Culture and Politics and has a Master’s in Public Policy from Arizona State University.
“I am grateful to the Kino Border Initiative for the opportunity to serve as its executive director,” said Joanna Williams. “I am constantly inspired and challenged by how firmly KBI is rooted in accompaniment of migrants and by our creative ways of working towards a more humane and just approach to migration through humanitarian assistance, education, and research and advocacy. I look forward to helping to continue to fulfill the KBI’s mission along the U.S./Mexico border.”
“I am so excited about Joanna becoming the KBI’s next executive director,” stated Fr. Sean Carroll, S.J. “She brings a wealth of experience to her new position from her work in education and advocacy. She combines a keen intellect with a deep love for our mission and for the migrant men, women and children we serve. She will be a great leader for our bi-national migrant ministry.”
Mr. Gerry Corrigan, Chair of the KBI’s Board of Directors, stated that “I am grateful to Joanna for accepting our offer to become the KBI’s next executive director. After we did a national search, it was clear to us that Joanna was the right person to lead KBI into the future. It will be a joy for me and the Board to work with her in the months and years ahead.”
Sister Diana Rubio, M.E., Superior General of the Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist, said on behalf of her community: “Joanna Williams has committed part of her young life to KBI and identifies with the values that we want to bring to this mission. We value her intelligence, her humility, her effort, creativity, love and commitment to our brother and sister migrants, since she has been present with them not just in our organization but also in other spaces. We are very thankful to God that Joanna has been selected as the new director of KBI.”
Fr. Sean’s last day at the KBI will be March 21st, 2021 and on July 31, 2021, he will begin his new ministry in Portland, Oregon as Provincial of Jesuits West Province.