Dr. Hugh Dempsey was appointed Vice President of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) at its regular board meeting on March 19, 2010. Currently, he is the Chief Operating Officer of The Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, DC, and has also served as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement for the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies.
In announcing his selection, HCEF President Rateb Rabie noted that “Dr. Dempsey brings a unique background to the board in the field of non-profit organizations and philanthropy. His experience and HCEF’s partnership with the Cultural Center will greatly enhance the mission of sustaining the Christian presence in the Holy Land and also promoting inter-religious dialogue.”
In 1998 Dr. Dempsey, at the invitation of the U.S. Agency for International Development, was one of only three foundation heads selected to assist with the development of philanthropy in Poland after the fall of Communism. In 1992 he founded the Dempsey Group whose clients included the Lions’ Clubs International Foundation, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Charitable Foundation and the Vatican Museums. He served as the Museums’ personal representative in America. Earlier, he served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement for the Pittsburgh’s Eye and Ear Institute, subsequently becoming its Executive Director and CEO.
He has a distinguished career as an educator serving as administrator of the Benedictine St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA., and Director of its Office of Institutional Research and Director of its Major Donor/Planned Giving Program. His early career was in public education specializing in child development at the Indiana University in Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Public Schools. He was Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Westmoreland County Community College from 1986 to 2002.
Dr. Dempsey has been honored as the Distinguished Alumnus by his two alma maters, Bloomsburg University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is the recipient the 2001 President’s Award from the Order of Malta and the Antonio Canova Medal, the Vatican Museums’ highest honor. Dr. Dempsey holds a Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
As they warmly welcome Dr. Dempsey to the Foundation in this new capacity, the HCEF Board of Directors, Staff and Volunteers are delighted and honored to have the opportunity to work with such a Godly, dynamic and inspiring man.