Top 100 - 2011

James R. Kelly

Jim Kelly, who as CEO of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans plays a crucial role in the recovery efforts after hurricane Katrina, was named Executive Director of Covenant House New Orleans in February. “Jim has lived the mission of Covenant House in numerous executive and board positions for over thirty years,” said Kevin Ryan, President of Covenant House. “As our first Executive Director, he helped build Covenant House New Orleans, and his work for Catholic Charities in the city has touched the lives of thousands of vulnerable and needy men, women and children of all races, faiths and cultures. Jim is one of the most effective and inspiring advocates for the voiceless I have ever met. As Executive Director of Covenant House New Orleans he will continue to be a tireless fighter for our kids.”

Kelly was born in Albany, New York, the eighth of nine children to James R. Kelly and Ann Lansing Kelly. His family arrived from Ireland in 1840 or 1860 – his great grandfather was a janitor in the cathedral in Albany.

Kelly graduated from Fordham in 1979 and started volunteering in Covenant House, the home for runaway kids in Times Square, New York. He established the New Orleans Covenant House in 1987.

Jim and his wife, Ginny, have three children: Elizabeth, Michael and Stephen.