Center for Religion and Culture Advisory Committee
Laura Auricchio, Ph.D.
Laura Auricchio, Ph.D., was named dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center in 2019, coming to Fordham University from The New School, where she served as vice provost for curriculum. She is a native New Yorker and art historian whose most recent book is The Marquis: Lafayette Reconsidered.
Beatriz Diaz Taveras
Beatriz Diaz Taveras has served as executive director of Catholic Charities Community Services of the Archdiocese of New York since 2008. She guided the agency’s response to nearly every crisis that confronted New Yorkers during that time, including the housing crisis, Superstorm Sandy, the opioid epidemic, and immigration reform.
Mary Karr is the author of the critically-acclaimed memoirs The Liars' Club, Cherry, and Lit, as well five poetry collections. She is also a songwriter, having collaborated with Rodney Crowell, Norah Jones, Lucinda Williams, and others on the country album KIN. Mary Karr is a convert to Catholicism and lives in New York City.
Jim O’Hara is the chief operating officer at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. He came to that post in 2020 after serving as chief financial officer at the 92nd Street Y. Jim O’Hara volunteers with several community and faith organizations, and serves on boards for Calvary Hospital, the Catholic Faith Network and the Diocese of Rockville Centre.
Rafael Pi Roman
Rafael Pi Roman has been an Emmy-winning host and producer of public affairs and political news programs at Thirteen and WNET since 1992. A native of Cuba, his work has been honored by the Hispanic Academy of Media Arts and Sciences as well as by the Latino Coalition for a Fair Media.
Kerry Alys Robinson
Kerry Robinson is president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, the organization representing the interests of its 167 member organizations dedicated to carrying out the domestic humanitarian work of the Catholic Church in the United States. A trustee of the Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities, she was also the founding executive director of the Leadership Roundtable, an organization dedicated to promoting excellence and best practices in the management, finances, and human resource development of the Catholic Church.
Bishop Paul Tighe
Bishop Paul Tighe is secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture and Education. A native of Ireland, he was head of communications for the Dublin archdiocese from 2004-2007, when Pope Benedict XVI appointed him to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. Pope Francis named him a bishop in 2015 and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture in 2017, and in 2022 that department was combined with the curial dicastery for education.
David Ushery is an Emmy-winning news reporter and anchor at WNBC-TV in New York, and is currently co-anchor of the 4 PM and 11 PM editions of “News 4 New York.” He has reported on breaking stories around the city and the world, including Europe, the Middle East, and the Vatican.
John J. Cecero, S.J.
John J. Cecero, S.J., is Fordham’s vice president for Mission Integration and Ministry. He is also a tenured member of the psychology department at Fordham, having served as an associate professor from 1998 to 2013. In his current role, he is responsible for the advancement of the Jesuit and Catholic mission of the University, in collaboration with other campus units.