Joseph F. Cistone '87
"Generous," "Committed," "Open," "Prudent," "Mission-Oriented."
These are the words and phrases used by a Holy Cross mentor to describe Joseph F. Cistone '87. Since the day of his commencement, this young alumnus has worked ceaselessly, in his own backyard and around the globe, to make a better life for those in need.
During his years on Mount St. James, Joe was a campus leader, mature beyond his years and dedicated, from the beginning, to bringing his liberal arts education to bear on a life of empathy, concern and service to the poor and the disenfranchised, the forgotten and the disheartened.
Today, Joe is the executive director of the International Partners in Mission (IPM), a worldwide, interfaith non-governmental organization that works for justice and peace—with offices in the United States, India, Italy, Kenya and El Salvador.
At the start of his career, Joe had worked for the Greenpeace organization. Receiving his master of arts degree from Yale University, Joe worked on refugee immigration and reception issues with the Caritas Internationalis in Vatican City. In 1991, he became the director of Fondazione, Italy's only independent and inter-religious full-service center for refugees and forced migrants. In 1995, Joe assumed the position of associate director of the International Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, where he served as a delegate to the United Nations' World Food Summit.
Returning to his native Cleveland in 1997, Joe became the vice president of capital, endowment and philanthropic programs for the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. He served in this capacity until 2001 when he accepted the position of executive director and chief executive officer of International Partners in Mission. Under his leadership, IPM has expanded greatly—with programs in 25 communities across five continents. Joe is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Gregorian University in Rome.
For his commitment to the values of the Gospel, for his strident belief that there are sustainable solutions to the problems of poverty and injustice, for his determination to direct his talents toward the betterment of others around the world, the College of the Holy Cross presents to Joseph F. Cistone the Sanctae Crucis Award.