Sheila Gilbert

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President National Council of the United States

Society of St. Vincent de Paul

Officially commissioned on Sept. 3, 2011, Sheila Gilbert is the first woman to hold the office of president of the National Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP). A member of the Society since 1981, she has served the organization at the local, regional and national level. Prior to her election as national president, she served as national secretary for SVdP for six years.

Sheila has a bachelor of science degree in sociology and a master of science degree in public and environmental affairs, both from Indiana University. In addition, she has a certificate in public management from Indiana University and a Master of Arts in pastoral theology from St. Mary of the Woods College.

She has served as administrator of a retreat center, a director of religious education for a parish, chair of an archdiocesan adult formation team, and is a past member of the Indianapolis Archdiocesan Evangelization Commission. Sheila is also a professed Secular Franciscan.

Sheila is a strong advocate for “systemic change” ― working closely with those living in poverty to better understand and address the root causes of their condition, collaborating with other organizations to develop innovative ways to reduce or eliminate poverty, and to advocate for long-term change at the local, state and national levels.

Her other civic and community service includes: field vice president, Hoosier Capital Girl Scout Council; executive committee and board member, Catholic Social Services; and chair, Archdiocesan Adult Faith Formation Team.

A resident of Indianapolis, Sheila was born Aug. 12, 1940. Divorced, she has three children.