Carl A. Anderson
Supreme Knight's Leadership of the Knights of Columbus
The 13th supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, Carl Anderson has led the Knights and their families since 2000 to unprecedented levels of charitable giving and support for their communities and Church. Under Mr. Anderson’s leadership, membership has grown to nearly 2 million Knights, who together in 2016 alone donated over $177.5 million to charity and provided more than 75 million volunteer hours of charitable service worldwide. Over the past decade, under the supreme knight's guidance, the Knights of Columbus has donated more than 700 million hours of service to charity and $1.55 billion to charity.
Supreme Knight Anderson has also led the Knights in a variety of charitable endeavors, including:
• Establishing the Heroes Fund to provide immediate assistance to the families of first responders who lost their lives on 9/11;
• Raising and donating close to $10 million to help rebuild Catholic churches and schools in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. Gulf Coast;
• Giving the gift of mobility to nearly 57,000 people in need of wheelchairs in Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Oman, Panama, the Philippines, Poland, the United States, Canada and Vietnam since 2009; when the Order partnered with the Global Wheelchair Mission;
• Establishing the $2 million Pacem in Terris Fund, the earnings of which are used to promote peace initiatives in the Holy Land and to assist the Latin Patriarchate in supporting the Christian community there;
• Financing the construction of the national Catholic seminary in Cuba;
• In partnership with Project Medishare, establishing the Healing Haiti's Children program, which has provided approximately 1,000 victims in Haiti with prosthetic limbs in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake that devastated that country;
• Printing and donating more than half a million Catholic prayer books to U.S. military personnel deployed overseas;
• Building schools and food distribution centers for AIDS orphans in Kenya and Uganda;
• Establishing, at The Catholic University of America, Father Michael J. McGivney Hall, as the new home of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family;
• Purchasing the John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C., and establishing on the site the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, a permanent memorial that houses a world-class museum dedicated to the pope's life, pontificate and teaching;
• With the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, co-sponsoring wounded veteran and military personnel to attend the annual International Military Pilgrimage to Lourdes, France;
• Launching the Christian Refugee Relief Fund, a charitable fund that has raised more than $18 million, of which over $16 million has been distributed to benefit persecuted Middle Eastern Christians and refugees from Iraq, Syria and the surrounding regions;
• Testifying before the U.S. Congress and preparing a report regarding ISIS' persecution of Christians and other religious minority groups that led to the declaration of "genocide" by both houses of Congress and the U.S. State Department; and
• Placing 752 ultrasound machines in crisis pregnancy resource centers in all 50 states, as well as in Canada, Jamaica, Guatemala and Peru since the Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative began in 2009;
• Giving more than 306,000 new coats to children in the United States and Canada since 2009 through the Knights of Columbus Coats for Kids program.
In over a decade as the chief executive officer of the Order, Supreme Knight Anderson has overseen strong growth in the Knights’ financial resources — many of which have nearly doubled during his tenure. Life insurance in force has doubled from $40.4 billion in 2000 to over $100 billion in 2015 — an increase of nearly 7% a year. Annual life insurance sales have also increased — from $4 billion in 2000 to nearly $8.4 billion in 2015.
Prior to becoming the leader of the Knights of Columbus, Mr. Anderson had a distinguished career as a public servant and educator. He worked for a number of years in the White House in various positions, including as acting director of the White House Office of Public Liaison. He also served for a decade as a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He taught family law at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. In addition, he was the founding vice president and first dean of the Washington, D.C., session of this graduate school of theology now located at The Catholic University of America.
Supreme Knight Anderson is the author of several books including the New York Times bestseller, A Civilization of Love: What Every Catholic Can Do to Transform the World.
He was appointed by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI to positions on a number of Vatican commissions and serves on a number of committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
He and his wife, Dorian, are the parents of five children.