President and Board
Eva Maria Welskop-Deffaa - President
Eva Maria Welskop-Deffaa has been President of the German Caritas Association since November 2021. In the association’s 125-year history, she is the first woman in this position. Prior to that, she was a Member of the Board from 2017 on, where she was responsible for departmental and social policy. Frau Welskop-Deffaa has divisional responsibility for development of the association and strategy, public welfare, policy and communication.
"To this day, this is what especially sets the Caritas Association apart: the readiness to start anew. Continuously finding different ways to express charity. Being open to the urgent responsibilities of today and tomorrow. Caritas is an incubator for social innovations, an untier of knots, an advocate of people in distress and a reliable partner to policymakers."
About the Person
After completing her studies of Economics and History in Munich and Florence, Eva Maria Welskop-Deffaa (retired undersecretary) served as a policy officer to the German Catholic Women’s Association and was head of the section "Economics and Social Affairs” of the General Secretariat of the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK). From 2006 to 2012, she led the "Equality” department in the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ). As a member of the federal board of the German trade union ver.di. (2013-2017), she served on the administrative council of the Federal Employment Agency and on the board of the Federation of German Pension Insurance Institutions. Eva Maria Welskop-Deffaa was born in Duisburg (Westphalia) is married and has three grown-up children.
The Board of the German Caritas Association currently consists of the President and the Head of Finances, Personell and Corporate Issues and International Responsibility. The Chief Financial and Personnel Officer of the German Caritas Association is elected by the Caritas Council for a term of six years. He is a member of the governing bodies.
Dr Susanne Pauser - Board Member for Personnel and Digital Affairs
Dr Susanne Pauser has been a Member of the Board of the German Caritas Association since February 2023. On the Board, she has been the member in charge of Personnel and Digital Affairs since March 2023.Personnel, and since March 2023 in the role of Board Member for Finance and International Affairs.
"People, of course, are always at the core of our work. We accompany and support them in difficult times. Society is changing and challenges us: in terms of how we communicate and collaborate as well as in view of expectations and framework conditions. We must respond to these issues, in digital and analogue formats, but we are also in a position to respond to them. For me as an HR person, the further development of Caritas hinges on our staff in these challenging times. Staff are the point of departure as well as the target of any transformation. And change can only be achieved with them. Change is hard work and challenges us on a personal level. But it keeps us, as Caritas, future-capable and strong.”
About the Person
After completing her studies of Education, Philosophy, Religion and Speech Training in Regensburg and Passau, she worked for MISEREOR, the German Catholic Bishops’ Organisation for Development Cooperation. In addition to this, she served as an independent trainer for NGOs among others. From 2001 to 2012, Dr Pauser worked in HR development and served as head of HR at HUK-Coburg. She then worked as a fully authorised HR representative at Wüstenrot & Württembergische Gruppe as well as most recently as a Member of the Board at Württembergische Versicherung AG. She was born in Forchheim (Upper Franconia), is married and has two children.
Steffen Feldmann - Board Member for Finance and International Affairs
Steffen Feldmann has been a Member of the Board of the German Caritas Association since April 2022. Initially in the role of Board Member for Finance and Personnel, and since March 2023 in the role of Board Member for Finance and International Affairs.
"One decisive strength of Caritas is membership in a global network. The joint work in Caritas committees on European and international level increases awareness that the problems of our times know no borders - from the climate crisis to inequality and from flight to pandemics - and that we, as Caritas, need to address all dimensions in our political work. In addition, being part of an international network allows us to provide effective aid abroad. Thanks to our Caritas partners, we are able to help quickly and effectively. And we can be sure that our partners on site share our values.”
About the Person
After completing his studies in Urban and Landscape Planning, Steffen Feldmann worked in Berlin and Hanover as a project manager and business consultant in Hanover (FSS Consulting GmbH). He then went on to get his Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Business Strategy and Business Ethics at the University of Washington, USA. From 2005 to 2013, he served as Manager and Business Partner in strategic business consulting (Kepner&Fourie, Hamburg). Mr Feldmann then came over to Caritas. He initially worked in the role of Director of Caritas Mecklenburg e.V. and, since 2016, has been Diocesan Caritas Director and Chairman of the Board of the Caritas Association for the Erzbistum Hamburg e.V. (Archdiocese). In this function, he was the main person in charge of the fusion of formerly independent Caritas Associations of Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Lübeck and Mecklenburg to form the Caritas Association for the Erzbistum Hamburg e.V (Archdiocese). Mr Feldmann was born in Wattenscheid (Westphalia), is married and has three children.