Saunders had previously been executive director of Family Promise of Hawaii, a nonprofit organization serving homeless families with children. There she oversaw all operations including fund development, donor stewardship, staffing, program development and volunteer training.
While she was head of Family Promise, the organization saw 460 families gain long-term housing, partnering with Catholic Charities and other social service agencies on housing assistance programs.
Before running Family Promise, Saunders was executive director of the Rotary Club of Honolulu, where she handled the day-to-day operations for the club’s 300 members. She also served as the state supervisor of the National Assessment of Education Progress, a congressionally-mandated assessment for the U.S. Department of Education.
In a news release, Catholic Charities president and chief executive officer Terry Walsh called Saunders’ experience and “passion for community service” a “great fit” for his organization.
“Her background and caring for others matches Catholic Charities’ core values of compassion and social justice,” he said.
Saunders said she is “truly honored and excited to join the Catholic Charities Hawaii team.”
“I look forward to helping others better their lives through the many programs at Catholic Charities,” she said.
Born and raised in Kailua, Saunders graduated from Maryknoll High School and received her bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Colorado.