Before coming to work as the Director of Development and Communications with the Jesuits my career had been mainly in the arts and cultural sector.
My Catholic family history originated with a family of Dutch extraction settled over many generations in Bombay. One of my great uncles was a Jesuit of the Bombay province, and one of my great aunts was a Poor Claire sister. Although I wasn’t aware of it at the time, my north London primary school, run by the Companions of Jesus sisters (CJs), gave me a solid Ignatian grounding. As a lone Catholic in a secular and multi-cultural secondary school, I hung on to my faith as a unique identifier.
On leaving university I worked for performing arts charities and then became a consultant specialising in fundraising for arts and museums capital projects. This practice developed to include fundraising, communications, change management and business planning for a wide range of charities, and this is how I came into contact with the Jesuits.
It felt like a homecoming. The language and complexity, the thoughtful reflection and measured pace, the intellectual inquiry and shared values felt new and familiar at the same time. Working for an international organisation which has been working at extreme frontiers across the globe since the sixteenth century, puts a unique perspective on daily tasks. As an avid reader of history I have often remarked on how frequently the Jesuits crop up as an influence in major events around the world and down the centuries.
It is a privilege to have a small part to play in the future of this great force for good in the world.