BOSTON, Mass., Sept. 6, 2023―Voice of the Faithful, a worldwide non-profit organization of Catholics seeking greater lay participation in Church governance, has named Leslie J. Scales its new executive director. Donna B. Doucette, executive director since 2007, retired Aug. 31.
Scales comes to VOTF with 23 years of leadership experience in non-profit environments. A graduate of Babson College, Wellesley, Mass., she was president of The International Leadership Institute for Women, Inc., Leominster, Mass., a division of management consulting organization Leadership Dynamics, Inc., where she later became director.
She also served as Northeast regional director of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center at Salem State University and, most recently, was executive director of the New England Affordable Housing Management Association, Braintree, Mass., which advocates for affordable housing and provides training and education on legal, legislative and management-related topics for members.
She has served on the Bertolon School of Business advisory board and the Salem State University Center for Entrepreneurial Activity executive board. In 2015, she published “Seven Steps to a Life of Significance.”
Mary Pat Fox, VOTF president, said, “I am excited to be working with Leslie. She joins Voice of the Faithful with enthusiasm for its mission and goals and is an experienced executive director with broad expertise in leading non-profit organizations.”
Fox said Doucette’s contributions to the organization over 16 years have been “too numerous to list.” Doucette will remain active with the organization after her retirement. She will continue VOTF’s collaboration with the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests as the only lay person on its board of directors. She also will continue to be involved in VOTF’s efforts for the Synod on Synodality, which will culminate a three-year process in two meetings at the Vatican in Rome in October 2023 and October 2024.
Voice of the Faithful is a lay organization of faithful Catholics, who organized in 2002 as a response to the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. The organization started in the basement of a church in Wellesley, Mass., and has since expanded to thousands of members worldwide. VOTF’s mission is to provide a prayerful voice, attentive to the Holy Spirit, through which the faithful can actively participate in the governance and guidance of the Catholic Church. Goals include supporting survivors of clergy sexual abuse, supporting priests of integrity and shaping structural change within the Catholic Church. VOTF’s website is at https://www.votf.org.