Deirdre joined Covenant House in 1990 as a member of our Faith Community and served in various positions at Covenant House New York, including intake coordinator, program services coordinator and quality assurance director, until March 1995. Sr. Mary Rose McGeady, my predecessor, then appointed her as executive director of Covenant House Alaska. Deirdre's many substantial accomplishments in Alaska during her 18-year tenure set a very high bar for effective leadership. The number of homeless kids served annually by Covenant House Alaska grew six-fold; the agency's budget quintupled; and Covenant House Alaska achieved what remains the single largest capital campaign success in Covenant House history. Those funds enabled Deirdre to bring to reality a brand-new, purpose-built, 40,000 square foot Covenant House for Alaska's homeless and trafficked young people.
Deirdre achieved in Alaska what we aspire to achieve across all 6 countries: a movement, and she did it buoyantly. Business leaders, volunteers, mentors, coaches, politicians, philanthropists and youth responded to her central message that every young person has a right to shelter, a message deeply rooted in justice, love and mercy