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June 2024

Closeup profile photo of VPMM Matthew Carnes, S.J.

Closeup profile photo of VPMM Matthew Carnes, S.J.

Matthew Carnes, S.J., Named Vice President for Mission and Ministry at Santa Clara University

SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 11, 2024— Santa Clara University President Julie Sullivan today announced the appointment of Fr. Matthew E. Carnes, S.J., Ph.D., ’03 M.Div., as Vice President for Mission and Ministry for Santa Clara University.  Carnes is a Jesuit priest, University trustee, and renowned Georgetown professor and administrator in the field of political science and international affairs. 

Carnes, who has been at Georgetown University since 2009, is currently the vice dean for faculty and graduate affairs at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS) and previously served as director of Georgetown’s Center for Latin American Studies. As SCU’s chief mission officer, Carnes will oversee the Division of Mission and Ministry, which encompasses Campus Ministry; the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education (ICJE), for which he will serve as executive director; and the Mission Church. He will also have an academic appointment as Professor of Political Science.

Carnes’ appointment follows a national search, and he will begin his term effective August 15, 2024.

“Fr. Carnes' leadership as an educator, scholar, and Jesuit public intellectual will be a tremendous asset as we work towards strengthening Santa Clara’s position as a globally engaged and recognized Jesuit Catholic university,” said Santa Clara University President Julie Sullivan. “His vision and experience will help strengthen and promote the University’s Jesuit Catholic mission and character in ways that are bold, inclusive, and reflective of the rich diversity of our  University community.” 

A mission-driven, student-centered leader, Carnes brings a wealth of experience, leadership, and a commitment to Jesuit Catholic values and to the Santa Clara community. He earned his Master of Divinity (M.Div) degree from SCU’s Jesuit School of Theology and served the University as a Jesuit in Residence earlier in his career. A native of Northern California, Carnes grew up in San Carlos, Calif.

"I am delighted to join the Santa Clara community at a pivotal time in its history,” said Carnes. “The Jesuit worldview at the heart of a Santa Clara education has so much to offer right now — to our divided yet beautifully precious world, and to our unsettled yet wondrously expansive souls — helping us discern together a future infused with hope, peace, reconciliation, and solidarity among all peoples. President Sullivan’s new Impact 2030 Strategic Plan provides an exciting roadmap for fulfilling the University’s global potential.  I look forward to working with our Santa Clara community toward this end.”

A Passion for Political Science
Carnes’ academic research examines labor and social welfare policy dynamics in developing and middle-income countries. A political scientist and specialist in Latin American affairs, he has conducted extensive field research in Argentina, Peru, Chile, and Bolivia and worked on development projects in Honduras, Mexico, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Ecuador. He is the author of Continuity Despite Change: The Politics of Labor Regulation in Latin America (Stanford University Press, 2014) and numerous journal articles. 

Global Experience, Vision and Engagement
Carnes was ordained a priest in June 2003 and his life as a Jesuit scholar has involved extensive work around the globe, and building lasting relationships with leaders and scholars in Jesuit universities in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. “A crucial part of the Jesuit mission is to serve as a bridge in an otherwise divided world, drawing diverse people together and working toward constructive, inclusive, and just solutions to our most pressing problems,” Carnes said.

His life has taken him around the world: from Los Angeles and Mexico for his novitiate to New York for his master’s degree in philosophy at Fordham University. He taught Spanish, economics, and international relations at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, and supported Hurricane Mitch reconstruction efforts in Honduras. He earned a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University, from which he also earned his undergraduate degree in international relations. “I am especially eager to draw on my experience as a scholar and teacher to engage students, and faculty and staff colleagues across the University, as well as trustees and alumni, in a shared effort to increase Santa Clara’s global embrace and impact for the common good through the mission that animates us,” he said.

About Santa Clara University
Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University sits in the heart of Silicon Valley—the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial region. The University’s stunningly landscaped 106-acre campus is home to the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asís. Ranked among the top 15 percent of national universities by U.S. News & World Report, SCU has among the best four-year graduation rates in the nation and is rated by PayScale in the top 1 percent of universities with the highest-paid graduates. SCU has produced elite levels of Fulbright Scholars, as well as four Rhodes Scholars. With undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, and graduate programs in six disciplines, the curriculum blends high-tech innovation with social consciousness grounded in the tradition of Jesuit, Catholic education.

Media Contact
Deepa Arora | SCU Media and Communications | | 408-554-5125

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