JRS Europe welcomes new Director

Alberto Ares SJ has been appointed the new director of Jesuit Refugee Service Europe (JRS). The new Director will work towards a Europe where human rights, protection, hospitality, integration, and reconciliation all have a place to flourish within a larger vision for inclusive and welcoming societies

Alberto Ares will take over his new position in September 2021, replacing Jose Ignacio Garcia SJ. Alberto is currently the Director of the University Institute for Migration Studies (IUEM) at Comillas Pontifical University and Deputy Coordinator of the Jesuit Migrant Service in Spain.

Promoting human rights and hospitality in Europe is one of the great social challenges of this time, and furthermore, it is also an Apostolic Preference of the Society of Jesus. This new appointment comes after three years as director of the IUEM, a mission that was preceded by a stage of almost six years as delegate of the Social Sector of the Society of Jesus in Spain. Alberto Ares SJ had also been director of several centers of the SJM Spain , as well as acting director of the Migration Commission in the Spanish Episcopal Conference.

Ares has been carrying out important work at the IUEM, establishing it as a space for effort and reflection in the field of migration, building bridges, researching and training. IUEM is one of the most important Latin American research centers in the field of migration and international cooperation.


Alberto Ares SJ holds a PhD in International Migration from the Universidad Pontificia Comillas and he specialised in Social Ethics, obtaining a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Boston College. Most of his time has been spent accompanying and studying migration and migrants.

“I am very excited with this appointment that allows me to continue working in the service to refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. This is my passion, both in my research and through my concrete service to foreign communities. I am very grateful for the opportunity to join the JRS Europe team. In recent years, I have been involved in several projects led by JRS Europe. Now, I will have the opportunity to contribute intensively to their work,” says Alberto.


In an exchange letter with his fellows Jesuits, Alberto Ares SJ wrote: “I feel fortunate to join the great family of JRS, and I would like to continue learning and contribute from my experience in working with migrants and refugees. I know that with your help and God’s guidance, everything will go ahead”.

In Madrid, where Alberto Ares lives, he has been a member of a Jesuit “community of hospitality.” In his community, they welcome and live jointly with young migrants and refugees, supporting them in their process of social integration.

The JESC team congratulates Alberto Ares SJ for his new appointment and wishes him great success in the socio-economic inclusion of migrants and refugees in Europe.

Excerpts were taken from the Jesuit Refugee Service Europe (JRS) announcement and from Aleluya the article on the nomination.


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