Catholic University of America Elects Robert J. Neal to Board of Trustees

Washington, D. C., June 10, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Real estate executive and philanthropist Robert J. Neal was elected as the chairman of The Catholic University of America’s Board of Trustees on Tuesday. Neal succeeds Victor Smith, J.D. 1996, who served as chair since 2021, and on the Board of Trustees since 2006.

Bishop John O. Barres of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y, was elected vice chairman. Bishop Barres has been on the Board since 2019 and has served as a bishop fellow on the board since last year.

In addition, five new additions were made to the Board of Trustees, including Bishop David L. Toups of the Diocese of Beaumont, Texas, investor and philanthropist Tim Connors, technology executive John Corcoran, executive Ed Gillespie, B.A. 1983, and Javier Mazariegos, B.A. 2023.

“We are grateful to Rob for his willingness and enthusiasm to take on this crucial leadership role for the University,” President Peter Kilpatrick said. “Rob’s experience, insights, and instincts will further strengthen our commitment to being a premier higher education institution that leads and serves in the Catholic Church and the nation.”

“I would also like to express my deep gratitude to Victor for his long service to the board. We will miss his excellent leadership and contagious enthusiasm for the mission,” said Kilpatrick.

Neal said “I am very excited for the future of CUA. The University will continue to build a world class faculty and attract students from across the globe who are drawn to the opportunities of study and faith in Washington DC.”

Neal, of Newport Beach, California, is a managing partner with Hager Pacific Properties . He is also an active community member, and he holds or has held board positions with The Papal Foundation, The Becket Fund, Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Leadership Institute and Second Harvest Food Bank.

Neal led the University’s board of trustees impact scholarship initiative and has actively supported impact scholarships to increase enrollment at the University by funding 20 students via the program. He has also supported efforts to advance the visibility of the university at events such as the National Eucharistic Congress.

Rob and his wife, Berni, have been married almost 40 years and are parents of two adult children and grandparents of two granddaughters.

Bishop Barres, an alumnus of Catholic University, has been actively engaged in lifting the visibility of the University on Long Island, hosting and partnering with the university in outreach events and supporting the University’s partnership with the Catholic Faith Network. His diocese has consistently ranked among the top contributors to the National Collection for Catholic University.