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Melara appointed permanent CEO of Syracuse Catholic Charities

By Maria Carbonaro


Mike Melara
Mike Melara

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse Bishop Robert J, Cunningham announced on Tuesday the appointment of Michael F. Melara as CEO of Diocese of Syracuse Catholic Charities, Inc., effective last Friday, Jan. 5.

Melara has served as the interim CEO for the past year while maintaining his role as executive director of Catholic Charities of Onondaga County. He will continue to serve in both roles, leading the largest nonprofit organizations in upstate New York, according to a Diocese of Syracuse news release.

As CEO, Melara serves as the diocesan director of Catholic Charities, directly reporting to the Syracuse bishop and working collaboratively with the corporate board of trustees. He works with the six area directors of Catholic Charities located in Broome, Chenango, Oswego, Oneida/Madison, and Cortland counties. Within the diocese, Melara is responsible for the diocesan community services, office of social action ministry, the Catholic campaign for human development, and Catholic relief services.

“Mike Melara is a natural appointment for this expanded role in Catholic Charities,” Bishop Cunningham said in the release. “He brings a skill set to this position that is not often seen in one individual. His care and commitment to people in need and his ability to problem solve and collaborate well with other leading agencies in order to find realistic solutions is exactly what is needed to move Catholic Charities to the next level.”

Melara has served as executive director of Catholic Charities Onondaga County since 2008 and has extensive experience in social-service leadership roles. He has served as the past executive director of Huntington Family Center in Syracuse, director of child and family services at Liberty Resources, Inc., as well as in social-service positions within Catholic Charities and the Department of Mental Health, per the release.

Melara has a master’s degree from Chapman University and a bachelor’s degree from Le Moyne College.

Catholic Charities serves the seven counties of the Diocese of Syracuse and says it is “dedicated to caring for those in need while promoting human development, collaboration and the elimination of poverty and injustice.”

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Photo credit: Diocese of Syracuse

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