SNAP names Zach Hiner as next executive director

National Catholic Reporter

September 24, 2018

By Brian Roewe

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has named Zach Hiner, a former staff employee, as its next executive director.

Hiner, who spent the past six years in communications roles with Prevent Child Abuse America, previously worked with SNAP from 2011 to 2013 as an executive assistant briefly to founder Barbara Blaine and then-national director David Clohessy.

“I’m excited to come home to the organization that lit the spark and turned me towards a life of advocacy and prevention,” Hiner, 31, said in a statement Sept. 14.

In his prior stint with SNAP, Hiner filled a variety of administrative roles, from updating the website to serving as a point person for press outreach. But it was listening to abuse survivors share their stories over the phone, he told NCR, that “made me want to get involved with prevention deeper,” an area he hopes to emphasize in his new position.

Hiner returns to SNAP, created in 1988 and now counting 25,000 members worldwide, at what its board of directors called “a momentous moment in time,” as the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal has erupted back into the public eye.

In the U.S., accusations around former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and revelations from the Pennsylvania grand jury report have dominated attention, while similar reports have documented the pervasiveness of clergy sexual abuse in Germany and the Netherlands, the fallout continues in Chile from alleged cover-ups, and cardinals await to stand trial in Australia and France.

Hiner, who begins his new position Sept. 24, recognizes it as an important time for SNAP, particularly through the “valuable role” of its support groups as more abuse survivors come forward and look for places to turn.

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