Vision and Voice for Catholic Higher Education      Learn More





ACCU staff serve member institutions, scholars, journalists, Church officials, and others Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Eastern time).

ACCU Staff


Michael Galligan-Stierle, Ph.D., PRESIDENT and CEO
Michael has over 40 years of experience in higher education and various ministerial settings. The primary focus of his work has been in higher education and ministry with young adults as a campus minister, a religious studies professor, a seminary instructor, and a graduate ministry internship director. Michael’s 1996 book, Gospel on Campus, is viewed as a standard for Catholic campus ministry in the U.S. His book Promising Practices: Collaboration among Catholic Bishops and University Presidents highlights proven ways that bishops, diocesan agencies, and Catholic colleges and universities collaborate. In 2015, ACCU released the second volume of A Mission Officer Handbook, which Michael conceived and edited, profiling the many ways that mission officers can advance Catholic identity and university mission. He recently completed editing Student Life in Catholic Higher Education: Advancing Good Practice, examining what it means to integrate Catholic identity and university mission into the work of student affairs professionals.

Michael holds a Ph.D. in Sacred Scripture, an M.A. in Psychology, and an M.A. in Theology. He has been married for 38 years to Pamela. Pamela and Michael are the proud parents of two biological and two adopted children and grandparents to six grandchildren.

Contact Michael at (202) 457-0650, ext. 222 or mgs@accunet.org.


Nadine joined ACCU in November 2017, bringing over 20 years of experience working in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector. Prior to ACCU, she spent 17 years at Independent Sector, first as Director of Research and eventually as VP for Convenings and Knowledge Management. She led annual conference planning and execution, research and evaluation, and interactions with global civil society organizations. At ACCU, Nadine will have responsibility for the Annual Meeting, the Mission Leadership Institute, the Charism Cabinet, and the Peace & Justice initiative. Nadine is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and completed her M.A. in International Development from American University. Her interests include traveling and cooking and she is a loyal Trekkie. She and her husband have been blessed with two grown children who have done them proud!

Contact Nadine at (202) 457-0650, ext. 224 or njalandoni@accunet.org.


Sandra Kerr-Porcari, CHIEF OF STAFF
Sandra joined the ACCU staff in April 2014 after living for over two decades in Northern Italy and working in a variety of administrative positions, both inside and outside the world of Catholic education. In the role of parent, teacher, and school administrator, Sandra has both a multicultural perspective and broad-based experience in Catholic education from grades K thru 13 and beyond. Her degree from Dartmouth College, where she majored in government and Asian studies, included the study of two languages (Spanish & Mandarin Chinese,) to which she has now added Italian. Sandra and her husband Maurizio currently live in Takoma Park, MD. All three of their children are now college graduates going on to pursue careers in pediatric neurology, aerospace engineering (although presently serving as a US Navy submariner) and strategic policy consulting. Her hobbies include reading, walking, cooking, and traveling. At ACCU, Sandra manages the president's schedule, Board and committee meetings, Rome Seminar, and the Annual Meeting.

Contact Sandra at (202) 457-0650 ext. 227, or skerr-porcari@accunet.org.


Paula joined the ACCU staff in summer 2011. She had previously been at the American Council on Education for 11 years, serving most recently as its director of publishing. There, Paula oversaw the organization’s publications, and worked on promoting and branding the association. She directed ACE’s trademark and copyright program, instituting an intellectual property protection program. In previous positions, Paula worked as a magazine and trade press writer and editor. Now at ACCU, Paula manages all communications for the association, including its publications, website, and media relations. Paula began her undergraduate degree at Immaculata College and earned a degree in journalism from Temple University in Philadelphia, where she grew up. She also has a master's degree in emerging media from Loyola University Maryland. She and her husband Terry are the parents of one son, who is destined to surpass them in every way.

Contact Paula at (202) 457-0650, ext. 226 or pmoore@accunet.org.


Rebecca joined ACCU in September 2016 after spending four years as the vice president for student life at Notre Dame of Maryland University. She has more than 20 years’ experience in higher education, notably in areas of change management and working with diverse groups. At Notre Dame of Maryland, she supervised campus ministry, residence life, student activities, intercollegiate Division III athletics, community service, leadership programs, diversity initiatives, and more. Rebecca and her husband Jonathan are parents of three children, all of whom attend archdiocesan schools. When she is not in the office, she is likely at the pool, the soccer field, or the cross country trails with her kids. At ACCU, Rebecca is responsible for overseeing the association’s Catholic identity and university mission programs. She also assists in advancement efforts, supervises association research, and monitors trends and current issues relating to Catholic higher education. 

Contact Rebecca at (202) 457-0650, ext. 223 or rsawyer@accunet.org.


Lorraine has consulted with ACCU related to the development of mission-related content and programs for 10 years. A trained educator, she spent six years as a classroom teacher, teaching in Bogota, Colombia as well as in Washington, DC, before returning to pursue her doctorate. Her dissertation focus was on lay presidents and their unique contributions to leadership of Catholic identity and mission. Lorraine holds her master's in International Education from the George Washington University, her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education (from Queen's University, Canada), and her Bachelor of Arts in Native Canadian Studies and International Development (from Trent University, Canada). Currently at ACCU, Lorraine has responsibility for the development of the new program, Leaders in Catholic Higher Education. She is also responsible for the Catholic Mission Institute for New Presidents as well as the Keepers of the Mission program for boards of trustees. Lorraine is from Toronto, Canada and enjoys spending as much time as she can paddling around the lakes of Ontario at her family cottage. She and her husband are blessed with two children, both attending Catholic school.

Contact Lorraine at (202) 457-0650, ext. 231 or lslomawilliams@accunet.org.


Diane graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in psychology and received a master’s degree in counseling psychology at the University of St. Thomas (MN). Diane has been with ACCU since September 2016. Her research background and areas of interest include spirituality, social justice, diversity, and higher education. While not at the office, Diane enjoys staying active by playing sports and spending quality time with her dog. Diane assists with ACCU research efforts.

Contact Diane at (202) 457-0650 ext. 232 or dwalsh@accunet.org.


Matt joined the ACCU staff in November 2017. He graduated from Northwestern University with bachelor’s degrees in music and economics. Upon graduation, he joined Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest and moved to Seattle, where he volunteered with the homeless. After JVC, he worked for Catholic Charities, coordinating English classes for immigrants in Northern Virginia. When not in the office, you can find Matt reading, drinking coffee, or hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Contact Matt at (202) 457-0650, ext. 235 or mwalsh@accunet.org.