Meet Catholic Mobilizing Network’s Board of Directors. This dynamic group brings a wealth of experience and passion to the organization. Each member brings gifts to our ministry and mission of ending the use of the death penalty and promoting restorative justice.

Karen Clifton, MDiv. CMN Executive Director

Karen Clifton is the Founder and former Executive Director of Catholic Mobilizing Network. She began her work against the death penalty in 1996 in Houston, Texas, when her social justice and advocacy projects intersected with those of Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ. In 2008, Karen spearheaded the formation of Catholic Mobilizing Network (CMN).


Mary J. Novak, J.D., M.A.P.S., has as served across the U.S. and abroad as an attorney, educator, peacebuilder, spiritual and retreat director as well as chaplain.  Prior to moving into full-time ministry, Mary practiced and taught law for over ten years in California during which time she was part of a team of lawyers representing a man on the largest death row in the United States.  Mary has served organizations in their development for mission for decades and holds an M.A. in Pastoral Studies from the Washington Theological Union, a J.D.

Vice Chair

Kathleen Brown, M.A., M.A., serves as the Regional Coordinator for Caritas North America of Caritas Internationalis. She serves on the steering committee of the Catholic Climate Covenant.  During her 40-year career Church ministry, Kathy served for eight years as the Senior Director for Mission and Catholic Identity at Catholic Charities USA and for nine years, she was the Director of Community Engagement at the global headquarters of Catholic Relief Services where she also served as the Director of Engagement. In her capacity as the Director of Institutes for the North American Forum on the Catechumenate, she traveled extensively in the United States, Canada and France leading workshops, presentations and trainings for church leadership. 


Marianne Race, CSJ is a member of CMN’s sponsor, the Congregation of St. Joseph. Her ministry has consistently been in education beginning with elementary and high school and currently in Adult Spiritual Education. She is the author of In This Place: Reflections on the Land of the Gospels for the Liturgical Cycle and is a contributor to liturgical and biblical publications. For the past 26 years she has led retreats in the Holy Land and continues her education ministry through Scripture Study in parishes.

Episcopal Advisor

Most Reverend Daniel Flores was ordained for the Diocese of Corpus Christi in January 1988. He served as Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Detroit before being installed as the Sixth Bishop of Brownsville in 2010. Bishop Flores serves the USCCB as Chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church. He also serves on the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, Committee of Divine Worship, Sub-Committee on Pro-life Activities, and the Committee for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Affairs.


Richard C. Dieter received his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he was named a Public Interest Law Scholar. He served as the Executive Director of the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, D.C. from 1992 until 2015. He has authored 40 reports on the death penalty that have been widely cited in the national media and utilized at all levels of state and national government, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Dieter has been a frequent guest on national television and radio news programs and has been widely quoted in the nation’s newspapers. Mr. Dieter’s most recent publication, Battle Scars: Military Veterans and the Death Penalty (2015), received the Congressional Black Caucus’s Veterans Braintrust Award. He is currently the Principal Consultant at RDieter Communications.


Ralph McCloud is the director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), an anti-poverty program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. CCHD is the domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Prior to working with the USCCB, Ralph worked as Director of Pastoral and Community Services in the Diocese of Fort Worth Texas. In this capacity, he supervised the Departments of Family Life, Peace and Justice, African American Ministry, Ministry to the Incarcerated, Ministry to People with Disabilities, Hospital Ministry and Hispanic Ministry.  He has served as President of the National Association of Black Catholic Administrators and as a board member of both the National Black Catholic Congress and the Roundtable Association of Social Action Directors. 


Dennis Harry Reeder is a Communications Executive & Development Consultant, producer and photographer. Mr. Reeder is also an accomplished video and documentary still photographer whose assignments have ranged across North America and Europe. His expertise is reflected in his client portfolios, including defense and international affairs, design, the arts, environmental, design, and historic preservation subjects, adult education and training, and social justice.


Gerald F. Uelmen is Professor of Law Emeritus at Santa Clara University School of Law, where he served as Dean of the Law School from 1986 to 1996. He taught courses in Legal Ethics, Criminal Procedure and Evidence, and served as President of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, 1982, and as President of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, 1989. From 2005 to 2008, he served as Executive Director of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice and authored its Report on California’s dysfunctional death penalty law.