New Orleans Native to Lead Red Cross of Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS — From the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross has announced the appointment of Kenneth St. Charles, Ph.D., as regional chief executive officer of the Louisiana region. He will be accountable for ensuring consistent, responsive and timely delivery of the Red Cross humanitarian mission, which includes exceeding all fundraising goals, disaster planning and response, supporting a robust network of volunteer services, and developing critical external partner relationships. Located in New Orleans, he will also serve as the executive director for the nonprofit’s Southeast Louisiana Chapter, one of three chapters in the region he now leads.

He will lead an operation that includes over 1,100 volunteers and 40 employees. This combined workforce responds to more than 1,600 home fires each year; educates residents on home fire safety and emergency preparedness; deploys to disasters outside the region; installs more than 3,100 free smoke alarms in more than 1,500 homes a year; teaches lifesaving skills to thousands of individuals and companies; delivers aid to international Red Cross partners and those affected by emergencies across the globe; annually provides CPR-trained volunteers at first aid stations along New Orleans’ Mardi Gras parade routes; and provides support to military members, veterans and their families.

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“I am honored and humbled beyond words to join such a historic and important organization at this critical time in our history, where large disasters like hurricanes, floods and tornadoes are increasing in frequency and intensity,” said St. Charles. “The support and life-saving assistance provided across the Louisiana region is unique in so many ways, made even more so by the diverse cadre of Red Crossers, donors and partners that make our work possible. I am especially looking forward to the opportunity to collaborate with local and regional donors who we depend on to ensure that the world’s largest humanitarian network can continue to provide care and comfort for people in need.”

Before this new role, St. Charles served as the vice president for philanthropy at the Greater New Orleans Foundation, where in 2021 he led the effort that raised $8.1 million over a three-month period in support of the Hurricane Ida Disaster Fund. Prior to joining GNOF, he served as president and CEO for five years at his alma mater, St. Augustine High School, where he raised $11 million in scholarships, endowment and tuition assistance while leading the charge to increase student enrollment, improve student academic performance, design new course offerings and ensure a complete renovation of academic classrooms and science facilities.

St. Charles retired from the U.S. Army as a lieutenant colonel after 30 years of active service. He deployed on active duty to Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm in 2003.

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“We are delighted to welcome Dr. St. Charles to the Louisiana region of the Red Cross,” said Chad Priest, a vice president at the American Red Cross. “He is a true philanthropic and compassionate leader who understands the importance of building lifelong relationships with both donors as well as the beneficiaries of their generosity that ultimately leads to a genuine sense of fulfillment. That’s an asset that will serve him and the region well, including its most vulnerable communities. We are very fortunate to have him leading our Louisiana efforts.”

The Louisiana region of the American Red Cross serves more than 4.5 million people throughout 64 parishes. The Southeast Louisiana Chapter has locations in the Greater New Orleans area, Madisonville and Hahnville; the Capital West Chapter serves Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Lake Charles; and the North Chapter serves Shreveport, Alexandria and Monroe.

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