CIDSE welcomes Caoimhe de Barra as new President – CIDSE

CIDSE welcomes Caoimhe de Barra as new President


The CIDSE Board of Directors has elected Caoimhe de Barra, Chief Executive Officer of the Irish Catholic international development agency Trócaire, as its new President. The election took place during the CIDSE Board’s annual meeting.

Ms. Caoimhe de Barra has been elected President of CIDSE for a three-year mandate; she succeeds outgoing President Ms. Lieve Herijgers, Director of Broederlijk Delen, CIDSE’s Belgian Flemish member organisation.

Ms. De Barra, currently CEO of Trócaire, has been a member of the Board’s Executive Committee since 2020 and has worked for the Irish organisation in a variety of roles since 1997, including as Director of the International Division (2011-2015).

The Board of Directors thanked Lieve Herijgers for her commitment over the last four years (two mandates). Elected in 2019 as CIDSE first female president, she had the important role of leading the network throughout the years of global uncertainty and new vulnerabilities amplified by the impact of the global pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine. Her presidency started with a strong focus on gender equality in leadership and continued with the active CIDSE involvement into the Pan-Amazonian Synod, whose results strongly influenced internal reflections on the need to decolonise the network’s way of working.

“It was an honor to be president of this incredible network. In this world, which is shifting rapidly, CIDSE showed strong leadership, with its moral compass well-tuned to focus on justice for people and the planet. CIDSE decided to promote and adopt System Change as a strategy. Collaboration and working together are the only ways to follow in that direction”.
Lieve Herijgers, CIDSE outgoing President

Caoimhe de Barra starts her mandate as CIDSE begins to implement its new strategic framework, which will run until 2028.

“CIDSE has social justice at the heart of its identity, and this is a huge motivator for me and for all of us who are involved with CIDSE”.
Caoimhe de Barra, new CIDSE President

In addition to the election of the new CIDSE President, two new members of the Executive Committee were elected: Anja Appel (Director of KOO, Austria) and Axelle Fischer (General Secretary of Entraide et Fraternité, Belgium).

The Board also endorsed the 2023-2028 CIDSE strategic framework ‘Thriving in our common home’ which will set CIDSE’s direction for the coming years. On this occasion, a new CIDSE logo and graphic identity were also unveiled.



CIDSE is an international family of Catholic social justice organisations. We work with global partners and allies to promote justice, harnessing the power of global solidarity to achieve transformational change for people and the planet. We challenge systemic injustice and its destructive impacts through connecting, mobilising, influencing and telling stories of change. We promote environmentally and socially just alternatives to allow everyone to thrivein our common home. CIDSE’s work is guided by Catholic Social Teaching and Gospel values.  

The CIDSE Board of Directors met in Leuven (Belgium) from January 25-27th, 2023. It is composed of the Directors of CIDSE’s 18 Member Organisations.

The CIDSE Executive Committee consists of Anja Appel (KOO, Austria), Axelle Fischer (Entraide et Fraternité, Belgium), Ricardo Loy (Manos Unidas, Spain) and Alistair Dutton (SCIAF, Scotland).

Trócaire was established in 1973 by the Bishops of Ireland to respond to poverty and injustice in the developing world.

© Trócaire

Short biography of Caoimhe de Barra:
Caoimhe de Barra first joined Trócaire in 1997 and held a variety of roles in the organisation over the following 18 years. Her first role was as Campaigns Officer, later becoming Policy and Advocacy Coordinator. She moved to Mozambique in 2007 to take up the role of Assistant Regional Manager for Southern Africa with Trócaire. In 2011 she was appointed Director of Trócaire’s International Division, managing development and humanitarian operations in over 20 countries. In this role she achieved strategic change in the structure and direction of the Division, leading to significant impact on the lives of vulnerable people. From May 2015 – July 2018 Caoimhe was the Country Director for Concern Worldwide in Malawi. Since 2018, Caoimhe is Trócaire Chief Executive Officer (CEO). A fluent Irish speaker, Caoimhe is from Dublin and continues to live there with her husband and two sons. 

Giorgio Gotra, CIDSE Communications Manager, gotra(at)

Cover photo: From left to right: Lieve Herijgers, outgoing President and Caoimhe de Barra, new CIDSE President. Credit: CIDSE.

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