Fr Joseph Xavier SJ has served as the International Deputy Director since February 2017.
Fr Xavier’s first experience accompanying refugees was in 1987, when he had the opportunity to serve refugees from Sri Lanka arriving on the shores of Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu. Fr Joe, at the time still a scholastic, would get on a truck with other fellow Jesuits and drive to the coast overnight to help those arriving.
Fr Xavier also supported JRS at a very difficult time as a member of the crisis management group when Fr Alexis Prem Kumar, then JRS Afghanistan director, was abducted and released after more than 8 months in captivity.
Fr Xavier’s academic background is in law, with a Phd in Human Rights and Criminology. He served as the Assistancy Secretary for the Social Apostolate of the Society of Jesus in South Asia for 6 years, and became the Executive Director of the Indian Social Institute in Delhi from 2012 to 2015. His work as Executive Director allowed him to further focus on social research related to dalits, indigenous peoples and minorities, and work for the advocacy and promotion of policies of justice.
His wealth of experience in social justice research and his work advocating for those at the margins will be a great contribution to the future of JRS.